Millions of travelers are packing airports to head home after holiday

Jacksonville Airport has been busy as crowds pass through gates to fly home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Crowds of people are returning home after the long Thanksgiving holiday. Sunday is the second busiest day of the year for air travel, right after the day before Thanksgiving.

But many passengers at JAX say they arrived early, anticipating the crowds.

"I did. Actually, I was concerned about the crowds and TSA lines," air traveler Catherine Benz said.

Airlines for America says a record of more than 30 million passengers will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday; between Nov. 16 through 27. That number is up from 29 million last year.

"We were concerned maybe, about the weather coming up from the Northeast that they had some storms messing up flights," air traveler Glenn Means said.

TSA officials said they added more than 1,200 officers and an additional 80 passenger screening K-9 teams over the holidays.

"When we got there, we had to wait in the long line. Then, I had my kids with me, and there’s a lot of people and it’s just a very busy day," said air traveler Christina Paradine.

After the Thanksgiving holiday many air travelers said they're ready to be back at home.

"We're looking forward to getting back," Means said. 

Here's some advice to help make your return trip home go smoothly.

  • Check your flight status before leaving for the airport.
  • Print your boarding pass at home if possible.
  • Download airline apps.
  • Pack snacks in case of longer than expected waits.
  • If you have a disability, call the TSA Cares Helpline at 855-787-2227 for assistance.  
  • Allow extra time to clear security and check bags.
  • If picking up loved ones, track their flight to be aware of delays or cancellations.

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