Albuquerque Sunport sees heavy Thanksgiving traffic

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It’s expected to be the busiest day of air travel since the pandemic and that means getting to the airport early.

This Thanksgiving weekend could get even busier.

“Super busy this morning, check in was crazy we had to wait in line not too long but about 15-20 minutes before actually checking in,” said Ieshia Williams, traveling to Dallas.

And that’s why almost every passenger said they were getting to the airport at least two hours early.

“The strategy is to get the airport early and be patient and just have fun all that. And in a few hours you’ll be out of here,” said James Luan, traveling to Los Angeles.

The Sunport projects over the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, Wednesday through Sunday, about 13,000 passengers a day will pass through.

“Nationwide trends are showing that this is going to be the busiest travel period since the start of the pandemic. And here locally, we’re expecting the same. Balloon Fiesta was busy for us like it is every year. And I think this is going to be a direct comparison to that,” said Stephanie Kitts public information officer of Sunport.

In 2020, during the same Thanksgiving holiday period, the Sunport was only averaging about 4,000 passengers a day. Numbers pre-pandemic averaged 17,000.

But keep in mind there also aren’t as many flights compared to before the pandemic, available seats are filling up.

“This is a difficult time for everybody in the industry. There may be longer than expected wait times at both at the ticket counter at the checkpoint and even at some of the concessions like the restaurants and things like that,” said Kitts.

So to help your travel day go smoother, plan ahead by checking to make sure you’re only bringing things TSA approved.

“We’re very excited to at least get the opportunity to move forward and travel and see our friends and family, just to get out,” said Lujan.

And if you think things are busy now, just wait til this weekend.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest day, followed by Saturday and of course the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.