Time and Patience for Thanksgiving Air Travel

Houston airports are busy this Thanksgiving holiday. About 1.4-million passengers are expected to fly out of Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports during the 13-day travel period. The Transportation Security Administration is working with local airport officials on making this time as stress-free as possible. Pat Hernandez has more.

Passengers heading to their flights at Hobby are doing so with the proper identification…and a smile. Rob Parrish with the TSA knows that many Thanksgiving travelers don’t regularly take to the air, and adding small children to the mix can often slow the process.

“It’s not the business traveler that gets, the family travelers and people that need a little extra time to get through the various checkpoints, the passengers that maybe don’t fly a lot, will notice we have family friendly lanes at every checkpoint in the United States. Its notated by a green placard. If you need a little extra time then, we recommend that’s the lane you go to. The trick of course is to be prepared. You know shoes off, jackets off, boarding pass ready, government ID ready, that really helps the process for everybody.”

And if you’re not sure about what liquids are allowed in your luggage:

“If you could remember 3-1-1. TSA requires that every liquid gel, paste, aerosol, be three ounces or less per container. Each container must fit in a quart size, no larger, sealable zip top plastic bag, and then one bag per passenger So, three ounces or less, one bag, one bag per passenger, and it should go through fine.”

Parrish says travelers should arrive at least an hour before takeoff to avoid any undo stress. David Williams with the Houston Airport system says that goes for people picking up passengers too.

“When you’re picking someone up, we have a passenger waiting lot, a cell phone lot as some people refer it, and when your party arrives at the airport, you do not need to come and pick your passenger up until they’ve actually been to the baggage claim area and claim their baggage. Otherwise you’ll get here too soon and you’ll be sent to make the circle, or drive around or go park until your party actually arrives at the curb.”

For the most part, officials have traffic inside the airport under control. But on the way, time and patience are the order. Ross Underhill helps direct operations at Hobby Airport.

“Well, the first thing I’d say is leave early, get here early. We have construction at both airports, you need to navigate that, get parked, come on in to the airport and get settled. Go through everything, even if that leaves you a little bit early for your flight. It reduces your stress levels. It just makes it for a calmer, you’re not in a hurry and it helps.”

He says they expect just as much activity when passengers return.


Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required