With Thanksgiving one of the most popular travel times of the year, flights are typically very full and airports extremely busy on peak days during the week of the holiday. This year, that will be met with a 5.3 percent increase in airline capacity at IND to the largest total since 2010.
According to Airlines for America (A4A), an industry trade group, 24.6 million passengers will fly nationwide during the Thanksgiving travel period, which it defines as the 12-day range from Nov. 21 through Dec. 2. This represents an increase of 1.5 percent – or about 31,000 passengers per day – over last year. Days that will see the highest demand are projected to be Sunday, Nov. 30; Monday, Dec. 1; and Wednesday, Nov. 26. Lowest passenger demand will fall on Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after (Nov. 27 and 28).
Meanwhile, according to AAA Travel, the average airfare for Thanksgiving travel is up slightly from last year, about 1 percent, even though the number of people traveling by air is expected to be at the highest level since 2007.
Holiday Travel Tips:
- Be aware of fees for checked bags and surcharges that may apply for traveling on certain holiday dates.
- To make for a smoother arrival experience, parties can drop off passengers and luggage before parking. The driver can access the curbside without any parking fees to drop off passengers and their luggage and then easily return to park at either the Terminal Garage or the Economy Lot.
- Drivers who simply want to park and wait for arriving passengers should take advantage of available parking at the IND Service Plaza or the Cell Phone Lot.
- When freezing rain, ice, or snow is predicted – whether in Indianapolis, at a final destination, or a connecting airport in between – flights may be delayed or cancelled.
- Check the status of flights online before departing for the airport:
– Passengers can check the real-time status of flights on the airport’s home page at www.indianapolisairport.com. Select arriving or departing flights by airline to find information about estimated arrival and departure times, gates, and flight status. The information is refreshed every 60 seconds.
– Obtain real-time airport status and the latest information on flights across the US at www.fly.faa.gov, which utilizes the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center. Its color-coded, state-by-state flight-delay information includes details on delays as well as airport closures.
- Arrive early: for stress-free travel, passengers should allow ample time for parking, checking bags and obtaining boarding passes, and clearing security. Passengers should check with their airlines for specific arrival time recommendations.
- Checking in online/printing a boarding pass at home can save time at the airport.
- To save even more time, premium parking, including both valet and self-park options, is available on Level 3 of the Terminal Garage. For those who self-park, there are about 6,000 spaces in Economy Parking and nearly 6,000 spaces in the garage.
- Wear slip-on shoes, if possible, avoiding those with laces and zippers. Pack properly. Remember TSA requires travelers follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids, gels, and aerosols in all bags going through security checkpoints. This includes holiday food and gifts.
For information on how to get through security quickly, acceptable forms of identification, special needs travel, traveling with batteries and electronic devices, baggage locks, and more, visit www.tsa.gov/travelers