The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen more than 20 million people at airport security checkpoints nationwide over a 10-day period that started Friday and lasts through the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
"I wouldn't say there's any worry because we planned for this for months in advance," TSA Administrator David Pekoske told CNN's Pete Muntean. "We have a lot of data, we work very closely with the carriers and the airports, so we know what to anticipate and then we staff to the volumes that we expect to see."
The TSA anticipates the Sunday after Thanksgiving will likely see the highest numbers thanks to a rush of travelers returning home, but they will probably not reach the all-time record set on the same day in 2019 when 2.9 million people were screened at airports.
Air travelers should definitely be prepared for crowds, said Andrew Gross, spokesperson for AAA.
"So we're telling people, look, you're going to find lines at the airport. It's just inevitable. So get there that old-fashioned at least two hours early. And if it's an international flight, three hours early."
If you haven't gotten on your Thanksgiving flight yet, here are some tips for your trip:
- Try the airline website or app to get rebooked if your flight is canceled. It's usually faster, according to Kathleen Bangs, a former airline pilot and spokesperson for FlightAware.
- Book nonstop flights offered several times a day on major carriers to up your odds of getting rebooked on the same itinerary in a timely manner, said Willis Orlando, senior product operations specialist at airfare deals site Scott's Cheap Flights.
- To be really safe, book a backup flight.