BOSTON – The 11-day period beginning today and ending the Monday after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods of the year at Logan International Airport and across the U.S. Massport officials expect close to one million people will travel in or out of the airport during that time. We are coordinating efforts with our state and federal partners to make sure travelers get through the airport and to their holiday events as easily as possible.
Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, projected that 27.3 million passengers will travel globally on U.S. airlines during the Thanksgiving travel period. This estimate is up 2.5 percent from last year, and equals an additional 55,000 passengers per day.
“The travel period around Thanksgiving is one of the busiest for air travel in the U.S.,” said Massport CEO Thomas P Glynn. “Massport, along with our state and federal partners, is dedicated to helping passengers go through the process as easily as possible. Many holiday travelers are people who do not fly frequently and we will have additional staff on duty as well as volunteers helping them. We want everyone to travel safely, securely and efficiently, and Massport personnel are ready to assist our customers.”
Massport helpful travel tips:
Families should plan ahead and determine how they will get to and from the airport;
There are many HOV and public transportation options available. More information and schedules can be found at Massport.com;
Helpful travel information about what to expect at the airport can be found at Massport.com and TSA.gov;
Travelers can get flight information on Massport.com up to 4 hours before their flight, and should arrive 2 hours early for a domestic flight and 3 hours for international;
Many airlines allow you to check in online before you get to the airport;
For those picking up loved ones at the airport:
Massport.com has a wayfinder application to help you know your way around Logan;
We recommend waiting in the cell phone lot until your party can meet you at the curb
TSA has prepared for the holiday travel season by increasing staffing, deploying additional canine teams, and monitoring and deploying resources to the busiest airports. By being prepared, travelers can simplify their travel experience through the airport and can have a significant impact on efficiency at security checkpoints nationwide.
“TSA is taking every measure to protect air travelers and to secure our transportation systems by working closely with local and state officials,” said Bob Allison, TSA Federal Security Director for Massachusetts. “TSA continues to collaborate with our airline and airport partners to improve the traveling experience, while keeping security as our top priority.”
Here are some helpful TSA tools and travel tips to ensure a smooth checkpoint experience:
Arrive early. The increase in travel volume has a wide-ranging effect. Consider incorporating additional time in your travel plans for traffic, parking, rental car returns and airline check-in. Arrive up to two hours in advance of your flight departure time for domestic travel and three hours for international flights.
Prepare for security. Have a valid ID and boarding pass out and remove large electronics, including laptops and liquids from carry-on baggage. Avoid over packing your carry-on bag. Consider checking bags where feasible.
Follow the liquids rule.
Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less and all containers must fit inside a single quart-size plastic bag and be placed in a bin for carry-on baggage screening. Pack food items. Items such as pies and cakes are allowed in your carry-on, but may require further inspection. If you are not sure if a food item is considered a liquid or gel, it is best to pack the item in a checked bag or ship it to your destination in advance.
Leave gifts unwrapped. We recommend packing unwrapped gifts or placing items in a gift bag or wrapping them after arriving at your destination as TSA may have to unwrap them during security screening.
Go to TSA.gov. For any additional questions on what can and cannot bring onboard.
According to AAA Northeast, one million more travelers will be on the roads and in the air compared to last year. This is nearly a 2 percent increase over 2015, and is the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007. The organization estimates that close to 1.1 million Massachusetts residents are expected to travel this year, a 4.7 percent increase over 2015, due in part to low gas prices.
Our partners at MassDOT also want to encourage those driving to Thanksgiving events to plan ahead. Highways are typically busiest on the Tuesday and Wednesday before and on the Sunday after the holiday. Travelers on the busiest days are encouraged to leave early in the morning or after 8 p.m.
“Thanksgiving travel has increased each year for the past several years," said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We're pleased that this holiday many people may find their drive a little more efficient with the removal of I-90 toll booths or because they can get travel times from one of the many mobile apps available. But even so, the best advice is what everyone has always heard: try to travel at off peak hours, allow extra time to get to destinations, think about using mass transit for at least part of the trip, and check with airlines or MassDOT website tools to find out if there are delays or any other issues that could impact a particular route."
Free coffee will be served at 18 MassDOT Service Plazas on Thanksgiving night from 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 25. Check MassDOT statewide Real Time Traffic Information Map before you travel. If you have yet to do so, please visit
www.ezdrivema.com and join E-ZPass.