Tri-Cities Airport gives tips for the holiday travel rush

PASCO, Wash. — Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means many are traveling for the holiday festivities.

This includes air travel, which Tri-Cities Airport says is their 2nd busiest travel time of the year.

While travel numbers haven’t topped pre-pandemic levels nationally, this weekend is busier than any other time since the pandemic started. Flyers can expect to see their flights at full capacity.

“You’re going to see bigger planes everywhere you go,” said Buck Taft, Airport Director with Tri-Cities Airport. “And across the country as you get into the bigger airports, it’s going to be busier this year than you’ve probably seen throughout the pandemic.”

READ: Tips to keep your home safe while cooking this Thanksgiving

Locally, this isn’t going to affect us too much. You can still arrive at the airport 90 minutes to 2 hours before your flight, and not expect many delays. At most, you could see a 20 minute wait to get through the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Check line.

That’s because Tri-Cities Airport didn’t see a significant loss of TSA staff due to the recent federal vaccine mandate. But that may vary at airports around the nation. Before arriving to depart from a big national airport, check their website for delays.

Something you may see during the holiday travel rush at the Tri-Cities Airport? The long-term parking lot may fill up completely.

READ: Foods to avoid giving your pets this Thanksgiving

If this happens, there are two options for travelers: credit card parking, and the overflow parking lot. Both lots are located to the right of long-term parking when entering from 20th Avenue. For a detailed map, click here.

In case this is the first time you’re flying since since the pandemic started, expect to wear a mask at all times. The federal mandate requires all passengers to wear a mask on all flights and in all airports, except when eating or drinking.

Refusing to wear a mask could result in a minimum $500 fine for first time offenders. Currently, the mandate has been extended to January 18, 2022.

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