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Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport offers Thanksgiving travel tips

Las Vegas airport prepares for busy Thanksgiving travel
Posted at 11:34 PM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 14:41:18-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — McCarran International Airport officials are preparing for one of the busiest days for travel leading up to Thanksgiving.

It is one of the busiest days for airports across the nation. At the airport, wait times are longer than usual, parking lots are getting full, and millions are coming in and leaving our city.

TRAFFIC ALERT: McCarran Airport Terminal 1 long-term parking garage full, closed

The airport has made several changes to accommodate a large number of people at once, but with an influx of people moving to our city and the lifting of some travel restrictions, airport spokesperson Joe Rajchel says they expect a high number of travelers.

“This is going to be a year where more people, even domestically, are just comfortable with traveling; more people wanting to go see their loved ones, feel safer doing so,” Rajchel said.

SIMILAR: Important things to consider for the Thanksgiving holiday

The airport’s parking lots have been getting full over the weekends. Rajchel says a ride to the airport to be dropped off will be your best bet during Thanksgiving travel, but if you do plan on parking it's likely the Terminal 1 parking lot will get full. Travelers will then be to Terminal 3. If that lot gets full, economy parking on the north side of the airport is another option.

“The best practice is to arrive about two hours before your flight," Rajchel said. "If you are planning to park here, we are recommending that you give yourself at least another 60 minutes to do so."

SIMILAR: 53 million people expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday

Airport officials say to prevent backlog at passenger pickup, you can use the cell phone lot located near the economy parking lot on the north side of the airport. It is a free and convenient spot for you to wait for your passenger to arrive.

“As we expect a lot of people to be driving here over the next week, utilizing these pick-up options will help keep these roadways clear and get people on their way faster,” Rajchel said.

Face coverings are required inside the airport and on the aircraft. For those who have not traveled in a while, Rajchel says it is important to check the TSA travel checklist online to see what you can bring on the plane and what must go in your luggage.