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Thanksgiving Travel Tips: What you need to know if you're flying out of McCarran |

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Thanksgiving Travel Tips: What you need to know if you're flying out of McCarran

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- The number of people traveling for the Thanksgiving Day holiday is expected to be close to pre-pandemic levels which means airports, including McCarran International Airport will be busy.

“This Thanksgiving, travel will look a lot different than last year,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “Now that the borders are open and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again high on the list for Americans who are ready to reunite with their loved ones for the holiday.”

AAA's holiday forecast expects more than 53 million people to travel this year between November 24 and the 28th.

According to AAA, the heaviest and most expensive travel days will be Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. Monday will be the lightest travel day.

Here are some things to know before your flight:

  • Arrive to the airport early so you will have plenty of time to get through TSA lines. It's suggested you arrive 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours for international flights.
  • This link will show you which terminal you will depart from for your flight.
  • If you need a wheelchair, make prior arrangements or expect a wait.
  • Please check with TSA for the latest travel guidelines and what is allowed in carry-on baggage.
  • Have a parking plan. Parking at Terminal 1 is in high demand and the long term garage may reach capacity and close. Long term parking is also offered at Terminal 3 and the Terminal 1 Economy Lot. You can check the parking options and prices at this link. You can get a live update on the parking situation by calling (702) 261-5122.

On Wednesday, McCarran International Airport expects to have real-time updates of parking as well as security checkpoint lines throughout the day on Twitter @LASairport.

For locals traveling during the holidays, over the past few months, McCarran Airport officials say Terminal 1 parking has been almost at capacity on weekends. They suggest planning ahead.

"Hopefully I will be able to leave out on Monday, so I hope the parking and bookings aren't that bad," Thelma Dodson said regarding her travel plans for Thanksgiving.

Dodson just relocated to Las Vegas. She's a frequent flyer but her traveling skills will be put to the test next week.

"We expect Thanksgiving to be more of the same. And so we really want locals who are choosing to travel for Thanksgiving, what to look out for and be prepared...so you have plenty of time to get parking and to your flight on time," Joe Rajchel, Mccarran International Airport spokesperson said.

When the parking structure is filled, drivers will be directed to the Terminal 3 long-term garage. There is also the economy lot with a courtesy shuttle service. Give yourself at least another 60 minutes if you plan on parking there.

Parking fees according to airport officials will be enforced. Remember rideshare apps can save you time for a couple of bucks.

Some of the top travel destinations in the U.S. are Orlando, Florida, Anaheim, California, and New York.

Airport officials say it's never too early to start planning.

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