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Holiday travel ramps up ahead of Christmas weekend at Harry Reid International Airport

Posted at 8:01 AM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 15:32:38-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Omicron variant is not deterring holiday travelers. AAA projects more than 109 million will drive, fly or use transit services the week of Christmas through the New Year.

Dec. 23 is expected to be the busiest travel day for airports, including at Harry Reid International. The Transportation Security Administration has screened more than two million passengers almost every day.

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“It’s has been super easy, surprisingly,” said Jade Paris, from Los Angeles. “The airports have been very straight-shot.”

Paris is celebrating her wife’s 25th birthday in Las Vegas. She and her wife, Shaina Robinson, say they felt safe flying and were more concerned about packing.

“Winter travel; packing coats is definitely difficult, so go ahead and pay for the extra carry-on,” Robinson said.

TSA is also stressing how to pack your gifts during the holiday travel period. They urge passengers not to wrap gifts because if they are flagged in security screening, agents will have to unwrap the package. Instead, they suggest using gift bags. They also say snow globes, which is a popular holiday gift, should be packed in checked luggage.

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Harry Reid Airport officials also say that parking lots will be packed.

“We’re expecting a lot of locals to travel for this holiday season,” said Joe Rajchel, airport spokesperson. “We saw at Thanksgiving, a lot of parking options reached capacity, and we’ve seen for the past several months that our Terminal 1 garage on the weekends will also reach its capacity. We’re expecting the same thing to happen here.”

Rajchel says most airport services have reopened, but they might not be operating at 100% compared to pre-pandemic staffing, therefore, shuttles might not come around as often as before the pandemic began. Planning extra time to find parking and hop on the shuttle is encouraged.

Health and safety measures vary from state to state. Before departing, travelers should check the regulations in their destination states. All federal mandates are still in effect at airports. At Harry Reid, masks are required on shuttles and at the Rent-A-Car Center.