By Andrea Romano
November 14, 2019

If you’re planning on catching a flight to grandma’s this Thanksgiving, you might want to leave early.

According to The Associated Press, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is expecting to screen 26.8 million passengers between November 22 and December 4 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

This record number of passengers is a four percent increase from 2018.

If you’re wondering how the security lines might affect you, the TSA says that the busiest days to travel will be Wednesday, November 27 and Sunday, December 1.

Wednesday is usually the most convenient day for many passengers to travel, since it’s the day before Thanksgiving and many office workers like to get a jump start on the long weekend without cutting into their paid time off. Similarly, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is usually a popular day to travel, since it leaves travelers with more time with their families while also getting home in time for work on Monday morning.

The best day to travel during the week of the holiday is actually on Thanksgiving Day as the TSA expects to screen 2.7 million passengers on Wednesday and 2.8 million passengers on Sunday. In order to combat this huge influx of passengers, various U.S. airlines are adding about 850 flights and 108,000 seats per day when compared to last year. 

If you want to make your Thanksgiving travel a little less stressful, the TSA encourages people to arrive extra early for their flights. This may not be a popular option for perpetually late passengers, but it leaves more time to be in the security line. 

And to make security lines more efficient (read: much faster), the agency also suggests checking its ‘What Can I Bring?’ website to make sure you aren’t carrying prohibited items, which would hold up the line for extra screening. Also, be sure to have proper and up-to-date identification.

TSA also suggests that people sign up with PreCheck, which can streamline your security screening significantly, though it is not always a guarantee, The AP reported. 

Otherwise, if you are traveling around the holiday, keeping calm and patient may be the most important things to remember. Massive crowds in an airport this time of year may be inevitable, but the trip is all the more worth it when you get to your destination. 

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