Travel tips for travelers during busy holiday rush

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — Thanksgiving week is known to drive in a lot of traffic at local airports.

According to Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport, they had an increase in passengers by 6 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. Officials said they expect that number to increase again for the year before.

It’s common knowledge to give yourself extra time at the airport. 

“I gave myself three hours,” said Evelyn Velardi, a student traveling home for Thanksgiving. 

“Even if your flight is delayed, it’s good to get there early. Our flight has been delayed,” said Andy Winebrenner traveling to Tampa.

Airport officials said the timing of your arrival should depend on if you are driving and checking in a bag. If you are driving, add 30 minutes to the time you normally would arrive. Add another 30 minutes if you are checking in a bag.

“You need at least 30 to 45 minutes to check in bags. It looks light now, but yesterday leaving Orlando, it was an hour and a half to get through check-in and TSA,” said John Tate, traveling to Orlando. But lets say you’re not checking in and instead carrying on your bag.

Airport officials said carry-ons are great for your medicine and valuables, but your liquids, gels, and aerosols need to be in a quart size bag. They recommend having it in front pocket for easy access.

“You have people not trying to cooperate, they’re trying go through quickly, they want to bypass other things and employees get frustrated which makes other people frustrated,” said Ylonda Dorse, traveling to Orlando. 

Frequent flyers said if you’re last in line to board, plan on checking that bag in.

“You’re not going to be able to find a spot. With it being colder, people have their coats, luggage and if you’re checking stuff in, it will hold you up,” said Tom Bowser, traveling to Chicago. 

Your furry friends need a ticket too. Airport officials said make sure you have your pet’s vaccination information and they must remain inside the carrier except in pet relief areas.

Non-service animals can be brought on the plane if they weight less than 20 pounds and can fit comfortably in a carrier that can fit under the seat in front of you. Airport officials recommend for people flying with pets to check with their airline on rules. 

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