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This nc destination ranks as the trendiest spot to travel for thanksgiving. here’s why.
By Simone Jasper
North Carolina is home to the trendiest place for Thanksgiving travel this year, a new report finds.
But the hot spot — Oak Island — wasn’t the only place in the state to make its mark. Another list found that Asheville and Beech Mountain both rank among the 10 destinations people are most interested in visiting throughout the holiday season , defined as Nov. 1 to Jan. 6.
The results come from the website HomeToGo, which lists millions of vacation rental properties around the world. The locations of the top-ranking North Carolina destinations might not come as a surprise, as the website in a Nov. 9 news release said it found “an increase in demand for larger vacation rentals over Thanksgiving, especially in mountainous areas and seaside towns.”
What makes the holiday destinations special?
To create the Thanksgiving list, HomeToGo said it studied U.S. travelers’ interest in destinations in the year leading up to Oct. 30. It focused on the number of searches “with a check-in between Nov. 17, 2023 - Nov. 26, 2023 compared with the same period in 2022.”
Though the top 10 Thanksgiving destinations were within the country, the list also considered international spots. Oak Island reigned supreme after it was found to have a 383% spike in year-over-year search interest, results show.
Oak Island, roughly 30 miles south of Wilmington, isn’t the only beach destination in North Carolina to be recognized as a top trending vacation spot. Earlier this year, Topsail Island was “heating up” in popularity ahead of the summer travel season, McClatchy News reported in February.
In the latest rankings, Western North Carolina towns also stood out among the places that U.S. travelers were most curious about. Asheville ranks No. 6 and Beech Mountain is No. 10 on a list of trendiest spots for the longer holiday season, which includes the time before and after Thanksgiving, according to data shared with McClatchy News via email.
While Asheville got a nod for the Christmas decor at its Biltmore estate, Beech Mountain is known for its skiing.
Overall, the place that generated the most interest for holiday season stays was Strasbourg, France. Rounding out the top five:
- Georgetown, Colorado, at No. 2
- Salzburg, Austria, at No. 3
- Helen, Georgia, at No. 4
- Fredericksburg, Texas, at No. 5
Also, the other top remaining Thanksgiving destinations were:
- Starkville, Mississippi, at No. 2
- Fort Pierce, Florida, at No. 3
- Wears Valley, Tennessee, at No. 4
- Knoxville, Tennessee, at No. 5
The rankings come as the short-term rental company Airbnb shared a separate list of the destinations leading year-over-year searches on its website. In North Carolina , it found that Greensboro ranked No. 1 for interest in holiday and winter trips.
This small town in NC ranks No. 1 on a list of best mountain destinations. Here’s why
Two nc cities rank among best places to live in southeast. what makes them special.
This story was originally published November 13, 2023, 7:00 AM.
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On This Page:
- Cheapest Off-Season Cities
- Cities With the Cheapest Hotels
- Expensive Off-Season Cities
Full data set, best us cities for off-season travel.
Advertising & Editorial Disclosure
Traveling can be expensive; off-season trips are a budget-friendly solution for those looking to save on their adventures. Off-season travel offers considerable savings on accommodations and attractions and provides unique — and often, less-crowded — experiences. To find the cheapest cities for off-season travel, MoneyGeek analyzed off-season airfare, hotel rates and restaurant dining costs for the 50 largest U.S. cities and found that winter travelers can find great deals in Las Vegas or Oakland, while summer travelers might find Mesa, Arizona, to be a budget-friendly destination.
A one-day, off-season vacation to the 50 largest U.S. cities costs $970, on average. During the summer, Mesa, Arizona, stands out as the most affordable place to travel overall, with costs amounting to just $528 — nearly half the national average.
Western cities have some of the best airfare deals during the off-season. In the summer, Mesa, Arizona, offers round-trip flights for $342. For winter travel, both Las Vegas, Nevada, and Oakland, California, have wallet-friendly, round-trip airfare prices at $540 and $552, respectively.
Texas and Oklahoma offer the most budget-friendly hotel options for vacationers in the off-season. In the winter months, Houston, Texas, averages hotel rates of $68 per night, while Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, isn't far behind at $72. For fall travelers, San Antonio, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, have nightly rates averaging $85 and $88, respectively.
Columbus, Ohio, presents an affordable option for fall travelers. It holds the third spot for least expensive overall off-season travel costs and claims the No.5 lowest off-season airfare among major cities — all adding up to an estimated getaway cost of just $749.
Airports in major cities typically charge $780 for a round-trip ticket, but for those flying to Meadows Field in Bakersfield, California, the fare climbs to $1,149 — 50% more than the standard fare.
Cheapest Cities for Off-Season Travel
A typical one-day off-season getaway to any of the 50 largest U.S. cities costs $970, factoring in average round-trip airfare, hotel and dining expenses.
For summer adventurers unfazed by high temperatures, Mesa, Arizona, is a wallet-friendly destination with total travel costs of just $528, 55% less than the national average. Round-trip flights to this destination average $342, while hotel stays cost an estimated $112 per night.
Winter travelers can enjoy significant savings in Las Vegas, Nevada, or Oakland, California, with both destinations costing under $770. Round-trip tickets average $540 and $552, respectively — the most affordable airfare among the cities included in our study. Hotel stays in both cities also average a reasonably priced $137 and $140 per night.
For those seeking a lower-cost fall destination, Columbus, Ohio, is worth considering. With an estimated total travel cost of $749, including $596 for a round-trip flight and $108 per night for hotel stays, Columbus ranks as the No.3 most budget-friendly major city for off-season travel costs and No.5 for off-season airfare.
5 Cheapest US Cities for Off-Season Travel
Most affordable cities for off-season hotel stays.
Off-season hotel stays in major cities usually cost an average of $130 per night. However, savvy travelers can save significantly by visiting Texas and Oklahoma in the fall or winter. In the colder months, Houston, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, offer hotel rates averaging $68 and $72 per night, respectively — that's nearly 50% in savings compared to the national average for major cities. During the fall, San Antonio, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, provide nightly rates averaging around $85 and $88, respectively, which is still a significant discount of around 34%.
5 Cities With the Cheapest Hotel Rates
Most expensive cities for off-season travel.
While off-season travel is more affordable in many places, it can still be expensive in certain cities. For example, Bakersfield, California, is the most expensive city for off-season winter getaways, with an average total travel cost of $1,343. Round-trip airfare there is the highest among all major cities at $1,150, nearly 50% more than the major city average of $780. While Bakersfield consistently has the priciest airfare year-round, opting for winter travel can provide a discount of roughly 10%, translating to a savings of about $268 on round-trip flights.
Detroit in the winter and Boston in the fall also rank among the top five most expensive cities for off-season travel, with hotel rates sitting at $334 and $258 per night during these seasons, respectively — significantly more than the average rate of $130 per night seen across all cities studied.
5 Most Expensive Cities for Off-Season Travel
While traveling in the off season is an excellent way to save money on your trips, incorporating the benefits of travel credit cards and reward credit cards can amplify those savings even further. By wisely using these cards for your bookings, you can accumulate points and miles for future trips or even snag special promotions. Be sure to always use credit judiciously and aim to pay off balances in full to ensure your adventures remain cost-effective.
To identify the most affordable off-season U.S. travel destinations, MoneyGeek analyzed off-season airfare, hotel and food cost data for the 50 largest cities in the country.
We used travel planning resources to identify off-season months for each city. These include whereandwhen.net , travellersworldwide.com , and travellemming.com .
MoneyGeek analyzed airfare data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics , focusing on the quarter with the highest number of off-season months. For cities lacking airports, we utilized data from the nearest major airport. Our airfare data, inflation-adjusted to Q1-2023, was collected for Q1-2023, Q4-2022, Q3-2022, and Q2-2022.
Additionally, we analyzed the top 25 lowest nightly hotel rates per city during each city's off-season months on Booking.com , averaging the results. Our search filters included a Saturday night stay during off-season months, a minimum three-star hotel rating, and the exclusion of aparthotels, a type of accommodation that blends the features of a hotel with the features of an apartment.
Using food cost data from numbeo.com , we analyzed the cost of an affordable restaurant meal in different major cities. It's important to note that this data isn't specifically focused on off-season months — like hotel and airfare prices — and only refers to the most recent available updated data.
To determine the total off-season travel cost per city, we added the expenses of round-trip airfare, one night's hotel accommodation and the cost of three daily meals from inexpensive restaurants. We ranked cities in order of least expensive total travel costs to most expensive total travel costs.
About Anja Solum
Anja Solum is an experienced data journalist and marketing manager for MoneyGeek. For over six years, she has produced studies for both agency and in-house teams across multiple verticals, including personal finance, home and health. She's passionate about using data to tell compelling and informed stories that empower readers.
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- Tuesday, November 14, 2023
- Today's Paper
Hawaii holiday travel is expected to be soft.
- By Allison Schaefers [email protected]
- Updated 11:11 p.m.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA/[email protected]
Above, passengers at the Delta Airlines check-in counter Monday at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
Hawaii travel sellers say tourism across the Hawaiian Islands is not likely to set any holiday records as projected across the nation.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / JUNE 1
Improving visitor demand as well as a boost in local travel might make state airports feel busier than they have been in recent times. Above, people wait in line to enter the TSA checkpoint at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
The Transportation Security Administration estimates a record holiday travel season nationwide based on previous records set this year across airport security checkpoints. Read more
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The Transportation Security Administration estimates a record holiday travel season nationwide based on previous records set this year across airport security checkpoints.
TSA expects to screen 30 million passengers across the nation during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel season, which begins Friday and runs through Nov. 28.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement Monday, “We expect this holiday season to be our busiest ever. In 2023, we have already seen seven of the top 10 busiest travel days in TSA’s history.”
“We are ready for the anticipated volumes and are working closely with our airline and airport partners to make sure we are prepared for this busy holiday travel season,” Pekoske said. “We will also do our best to maintain wait time standards of under 10 minutes for TSA PreCheck lanes and under 30 minutes for standard screening lanes. I am grateful for our dedicated employees who continue to remain vigilant and focused on the mission during this holiday travel season and beyond.”
Hawaii travel sellers say tourism across the Hawaiian Islands, which was softening even before the devastating Aug. 8 Maui wildfires, which killed nearly 100 people, is not likely to set any holiday records.
Still, travelers should be aware that even if this year’s holiday travel period for Hawaii isn’t forecast to be as strong from a tourism standpoint, the combination of improving visitor demand as well as a boost in local travel might make state airports feel busier than they have been in recent times. Also, those traveling into and out of Hawaii should note that other airports on their itineraries may be dealing with record passenger volumes.
Right after the wildfires, tourism to all of Maui was shut down. Tourism to areas outside of West Maui reopened shortly after, but the county did not allow West Maui to begin a phased-in return of nonessential travelers until Oct. 8. On Nov. 1, the county finally reopened tourism to all of West Maui.
These regulations, combined with strong social media messaging, especially from celebrities, that Maui should stay closed to give wildfire survivors time to grieve and heal, resulted in immediate and staggering economic losses. Visitors to Maui right after the fire dropped by 75%, representing an estimated $13 million loss of visitor spending per day, according to statistics from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
DBEDT has since indicated that visitors are gradually returning, but arrivals to the island are not expected to recover to pre-fire forecast levels until 2028.
The latest tourism data from DBEDT for September showed that some 651,286 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands, down 7.4% from September 2022. Arrivals to Maui plummeted 57% to 94,221 visitors in September, according to the DBEDT data.
Anecdotal information from the state’s visitor industry suggests tourism has begun improving, albeit slowly.
Jerry Gibson, president of the Hawaii Hotel Alliance, said, “Thanksgiving is a little slower than normal. We are off a few points from last year. But we are seeing a last- minute pickup for the end of December — more for Oahu, Big Island and Kauai. It’s not astronomical, but it’s a pickup and we are grateful for that.”
Gibson said room rates for the festive season are generally higher than the rest of the year. However, he said those booking holiday season trips to Hawaii this year are likely to see more value than they have over the past couple of years due to the slower volume.
He said Maui hotels have been hard-hit by the fires but have started to see higher numbers on the South side, where occupancy is now about 70%, and is expected to increase for the holidays. He said Kaanapali is running an occupancy of about 68% to 69%, mostly from displaced residents, employees and disaster workers.
“It’s not a natural year by any means in either West or South Maui. There is some glimmers of good news, but it’s certainly not robust,” Gibson said.
Keith Vieira, principal of KV &Associates, Hospitality Consulting, said the shifting to Oahu of this year’s Maui Invitational, an early season college basketball tournament that takes place Nov. 20-22, could throw off Thanksgiving numbers.
“That event packed Maui with teams and boosters, and the people that came usually stayed through Thanksgiving,” Vieira said. “It may bring a boost to Oahu, but I think some people that are used to attending in Maui may have canceled.”
However, there is enough travel demand for Hawaiian Airlines to add holiday flights. Alex Da Silva, Hawaiian Airlines spokesperson, said the carrier will operate an additional 20 neighbor island round trips between Nov. 22 and 26 “to provide our guests more options and meet travel demand during the Thanksgiving period.”
Da Silva said Hawaiian also is increasing its Honolulu- Las Vegas service from four times weekly to daily, from Nov. 17 to Jan. 12, except on Dec. 31.
He said Hawaiian will add 32 more neighbor island round trips between Dec. 21 and 29. The carrier also is adding a third weekly round-trip flight between Honolulu and Pago Pago on Dec. 13 and Jan. 3.
Hawaii travelers should take note of the busiest travel days, as passenger volumes at the airport may be higher than what they have seen in recent months. TSA says that historically, the three busiest travel days are the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward. TSA expects to screen as many as 2.6 million passengers on Tuesday, Nov. 21 and 2.7 million passengers on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, is projected by TSA to be the busiest travel day with more than 2.9 million passengers. Passenger volumes on that day are expected to exceed the 2.9 million passenger screening record set June 30, during the summer rush.
TSA’s holiday travel forecast is based in part on June 30 as well as multiple days in 2023 that exceeded 2.8 million passengers.
TSA also noted that there are now a record 17.6 million passengers enrolled in TSA PreCheck, a gain of 3.9 million TSA PreCheck members from the same time in 2022.
Given the expected increase in passenger volumes at airports nationwide, TSA recommends that travelers take steps to ensure that they are prepared before arriving at the airport. TSA offers the following tips:
>> Pack smart; start with empty bags to cut down on the chance of bringing a prohibited item through the checkpoint.
>> Before packing holiday foods, check for prohibited items by using the “What Can I Bring?” page on TSA.gov, or just ask @AskTSA.
>> Bring an acceptable ID and have it out in the screening lane.
>> Arrive at least two hours prior to your scheduled flight, and watch for notifications from the airlines to get there earlier.
>> Passengers traveling with a firearm may not put them in carry-ons. They must be packed in a hard-sided, locked case in a checked bag and declared at the airline ticket counter when checking in.
>> Be aware of new checkpoint screening technology. Screening protocols vary from airport to airport, depending on available technology and the current threat environment. In airport lines with Computed Tomography (CT) scanners, travelers do not need to remove their 3-1-1 liquids or laptops. With CT units, all travelers must place every carry-on item, including bags, into a bin for screening.
>> Remain aware and report suspicious activities.
>> Enjoy faster screening by enrolling in TSA PreCheck, which now has provisions to allow children to join their parents in TSA PreCheck screening lanes. For more information about becoming a member of the TSA PreCheck program, visit TSA.gov/precheck.
>> Travelers or families of passengers who need assistance are encouraged to call the TSA Cares helpline toll-free at 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to travel.
>> Have a question for TSA? Text a question to #275-872 (“AskTSA”) or send a direct message through @AskTSA on X (formerly known as Twitter) or Facebook Messenger. Call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673.
On the Move: Matt Zitello and Hans Reudi Tobler
Hawaiian electric tallies early disaster costs from maui wildfires.
How to Get Ahead of Travel Nightmares This Holiday Season
H opefully you’ve heeded the experts and booked your end-of-year travel earlier than you did last year. But no matter how well you’ve gotten ahead of your holiday plans, if you’re one of the almost 50% of Americans who say they’re traveling sometime between Thanksgiving weekend and January, there’s a good chance you could experience disruptions this winter season.
Almost a quarter (24%) of flights out of US airports have faced delays so far this year, according to the US Department of Transportation —up from 19% in 2021. That means your flight has a more than 1 in 5 chance of not leaving on time. The winter storms and technology issues that snarled operations for Southwest Airlines Co. in December 2022 could easily affect a different carrier this season, says Mike Arnot, an airline industry analyst and spokesperson for aviation data company Cirium.
Yet, US airlines are better prepared for operational challenges this season, experts at Cirium and travel-booking platform Hopper say. “Last holiday season, airlines were trying to run a lot of capacity to capture holiday demand, but they were stretched thin as it was challenging to get staffing,” says Hayley Berg, lead economist at Hopper, adding that those worker shortages have since been alleviated. Still, your best bet is to stay on your toes and use all the latest tools to confront potential disruptions.
Prebook Airport Rides
Consider that ride-sharing companies are likely to face peak demand during the holiday period. With bigger crowds on the road, travel time to reach the airport can also increase.
Earlier this year, Uber Technologies Inc. opened up ride reservations for up to 90 days in advance, a bump from the usual 30-day window that’s available on Lyft. This ensures a driver will be assigned to get you to the airport on time, rather than leaving it to chance, and you get to lock in the indicated fare.
Lyft is taking it one step further this holiday season. Starting on Nov. 9 you can expect an “ on-time pickup promise ” for reserved rides in most major markets. This guarantees the driver will arrive within 10 minutes of your chosen pickup time. If the driver fails to show up inside those 10 minutes, you’ll receive a $20 Lyft credit. That goes up to $50 if you’re not matched with a driver within 10 minutes after your scheduled pickup time. If you have to resort to using another service—say, a taxi or an Uber—Lyft says it will credit the user another $50, for a maximum payout of $100.
Know the Most Affected Airports
Hopper is predicting that the following 10 US airports will have the greatest share of winter travel disruptions this year. The list is based on flight delay and cancellation data from the past three months, as well as the last two weeks of December 2022: basically an airport’s performance last holiday season plus its more recent track record. Here are the expected losers, in descending order.
10. Dallas Love Field (DAL)
9. Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW)
8. Baltimore (BWI)
7. Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
6. New York City (JFK)
5. Newark, New Jersey (EWR)
4. Chicago Midway (MDW)
3. Las Vegas (LAS)
2. Orlando (MCO)
1. Denver (DEN)
More From TIME
Avoid the most hectic travel days.
Sunday, Nov. 26, will be the busiest travel day of the year in the US, according to Cirium, based on the number of passengers flying (almost 3.1 million) and flights scheduled (more than 22,00). Other days that Cirium sees as being especially busy during the holiday season: Dec. 21, 22, 28 and 29, and Jan. 2 and 7.
Aside from showing up earlier than required and bringing a solid dose of patience, you could build in a buffer day, so any special events or celebratory days aren’t missed.
If you’re driving to see family for Thanksgiving, know that peak traffic days that week are Tuesday and Wednesday, around 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., according to Google Maps data that examined traffic patterns in more than 20 major cities across the US during the same period last year. Your best bet, the company says, is to hit the road on Monday or Tuesday at 8 p.m. local time.
Have a Contingency Plan
If a flight delay strikes and you’re a relatively short distance from your final stop, plan for alternate ways to get there. Berlin-based premium-car-service company Blacklane , for example, kicked off US city-to-city chauffeured routes in May 2023. Rates start at $150 one-way, with a newly expanded route network that includes New York to Baltimore, Los Angeles to San Diego, Denver to Aspen and Dallas to Austin. Expect to cruise in a Cadillac Escalade, or a Mercedes-Benz E-Class or S-Class, among other similar luxury models.
“We are increasing the distances that we serve in more and more cities, replacing things like short-haul flights, which are super uncomfortable, super unsustainable, full of stress and delays,” says Jens Wohltorf, chief executive officer and founder of Blacklane. You can prebook your city-to-city ride on the company’s app or online, down to an hour before pickup.
If you should get stranded overnight with thousands of other travelers, resist the impulse to book at the nearest airport hotel, which tend to fill up quickly and may jack up prices when a massive storm sends swells of passengers into crisis mode all at once. A more pleasant solution is to book a hotel in the city—apps such as Hopper, Kayak or HotelTonight will highlight deals that most other stranded flyers won’t be snapping up. You’ll also save yourself the grief of standing in long check-in lines at the airport hotel.
Finally, remember to purchase adequate travel insurance coverage. So far this year about 25% of all travel insurance claims have been for delays, says Steven Benna, marketing manager at Florida-based comparison-shopping site Squaremouth , which is consistent with 2022. If you’re delayed at least three hours, most policy holders can expect to see an average payout of more than $485 for out-of-pocket expenses, with additional coverage for missed connections.
Procrastination won’t pay off here: If a winter storm is announced a week before your journey begins and you’ve waited to purchase insurance, you can expect to be refused coverage when that storm disrupts your journey.
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TSA is prepared for more travelers at airport security checkpoints, expects this holiday travel season to be the busiest ever
WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has screened a record number of passengers this year and anticipates airport security checkpoints nationwide will be busier than ever this holiday travel season.
The season kicks off with Thanksgiving travel, which begins Friday, Nov. 17 and concludes Tuesday, Nov. 28. During the 12-day period, TSA expects to screen 30 million passengers. Historically, the three busiest travel days are the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward. TSA is projecting to screen 2.6 million passengers on Tuesday, Nov. 21; 2.7 million passengers on Wednesday, Nov. 22 and 2.9 million passengers on Sunday, Nov. 26, which will likely be the busiest travel day.
“We expect this holiday season to be our busiest ever. In 2023, we have already seen seven of the top 10 busiest travel days in TSA’s history,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We are ready for the anticipated volumes and are working closely with our airline and airport partners to make sure we are prepared for this busy holiday travel season. We will also do our best to maintain wait time standards of under 10 minutes for TSA PreCheck® lanes and under 30 minutes for standard screening lanes. I am grateful for our dedicated employees who continue to remain vigilant and focused on the mission during this holiday travel season and beyond.”
TSA has recorded multiple days with more than 2.8 million passengers screened so far in 2023. The current record for the heaviest passenger screening volume in TSA history was on Friday, June 30. On that day, Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) screened nearly 2.9 million passengers at checkpoints nationwide. TSA will likely exceed this record this Thanksgiving holiday travel period.
Additionally, there are now more than 17.6 million passengers enrolled in TSA PreCheck®, which is the highest amount ever recorded and represents 3.9 million more TSA PreCheck members than there were this time last year.
Travelers should keep these top tips in mind before arriving at the airport:
1. Pack smart; start with empty bags. Passengers who start with an empty bag while packing are less likely to bring prohibited items through the checkpoint. Certain foods, such as gravy, cranberry sauce, wine, jam and preserves must be packed in a checked bag because they are considered to be liquids or gels. If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, then it is a liquid and must be packed in your checked bag. As always, passengers may bring solid foods such as cakes and other baked goods through the TSA checkpoint. Check for prohibited items by using the “ What Can I Bring?” page on TSA.gov. or just ask @AskTSA.
2. Bring an acceptable ID and have it out in the screening lane. Before heading to the airport, travelers must make sure they have acceptable identification. Identity verification is an important step in the security screening process. At many checkpoints, the TSO may ask you to insert your physical ID into one of our Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) units, where a boarding pass is not needed.
The second generation of CAT, called CAT-2, is currently deployed to 25 airports and adds a camera and smartphone reader to the other CAT features. The camera captures a real-time photo of the traveler at the podium and compares the traveler’s photo on the identification credential against the in-person, real-time photo. Once the CAT-2 confirms the match, the TSO verifies and directs the traveler for appropriate security screening without ever exchanging a boarding pass. Photos are never stored or used for any other purpose than immediate identity verification. Passenger participation is voluntary and if a passenger chooses not to have their photo taken, they may have their identity verified manually instead without losing their place in line. For more information on how TSA is using facial recognition technology to enhance security effectiveness, improve operational efficiency and yield a more streamlined passenger experience, go to https://www.tsa.gov/news/press/factsheets/facial-recognition-technology .
3. Arrive early. The airport will be busy this week, so arrive two hours prior to your scheduled flight to allow for adequate time to park your car or arrive via public transit or rideshare, check bags and go through security screening before arriving at the gate.
4. If you plan to travel with a firearm, you must properly pack the firearm in a hard-sided, locked case in your checked bag and declare it with the airline at the ticket counter when checking in. Passengers are prohibited from packing firearms in carry-on luggage and bringing them to the airport security checkpoint and onboard aircraft. Bringing a firearm to a TSA checkpoint is expensive and time-consuming and can cause delays. The maximum civil penalty for bringing a firearm to a TSA checkpoint is nearly $15,000. Additionally, it will result in the loss of TSA PreCheck eligibility for up to five years. For more information on transporting firearms, visit: www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition .
5. Be aware of new checkpoint screening technology. TSA uses a variety of security methods and technologies to secure our transportation systems. Screening protocols vary from airport to airport, depending on available technology and the current threat environment. Some airports have installed new state-of-the-art Computed Tomography (CT) scanners which significantly improve threat detection capabilities for carry-on bags and reduce physical searches of bag contents for prohibited items. CT units give TSOs the ability to review 3-D images of passengers’ bags, so passengers screened in security lanes with CT units do not need to remove their 3-1-1 liquids or laptops. With CT units, all travelers must place every carry-on item, including bags, into a bin for screening.
6. Travel with ease with TSA PreCheck and ensure you have the TSA PreCheck mark on your boarding pass. TSA’s trusted traveler program now has more than 90 participating airlines, is available at more than 200 airports and has two authorized enrollment providers. Those enrolled enjoy the benefits of faster checkpoint screening. The five-year membership costs just $78. After submitting an online application, which takes just five minutes, applicants must schedule an appointment at any of the 500-plus enrollment centers. After a successful enrollment center visit, most new enrollees will receive their Known Traveler Number (KTN) within three to five days. Members may renew their membership online up to six months prior to expiration for another five-year term for $70.
Most TSA PreCheck members wait less than five minutes at the checkpoint. Children 12 and younger may join TSA PreCheck family members in the TSA PreCheck screening lanes. Children 13-17 may join enrolled adults in the dedicated lanes when traveling on the same reservation and if the TSA PreCheck indicator appears on the child’s boarding pass. TSA PreCheck passengers must ensure that their KTN, along with correct date of birth, is in their airline reservation. For more information about becoming a member of the TSA PreCheck program, visit: www.TSA.gov/precheck .
7. Call ahead to request passenger support. Travelers or families of passengers who need assistance may call the TSA Cares helpline toll-free at 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to travel with any questions about screening procedures and to find out what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares also arranges assistance at the checkpoint for travelers with specific needs.
8. Text or direct message us @ AskTSA. Get your questions answered before you head to the airport. Travelers can get assistance in real time by texting their question to #275-872 (“AskTSA”) or through @AskTSA on X (formerly known as Twitter) or Facebook Messenger . An automated virtual assistant is available 24/7, while staff is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET daily, including holidays and weekends. Travelers may also reach the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673. Staff is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends/holidays; and an automated service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
9. Remain aware. Travelers should report suspicious activities, and remember: If You See Something, Say Something™.
10. Show gratitude to frontline workers. Thank a TSO, a gate agent, a flight attendant or someone who serves on the transportation frontlines. TSOs complete about 200 hours of training to become certified and are committed to transportation security while ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and courtesy. Pack an extra dose of patience, especially during higher passenger volume travel days, and show gratitude to those who are working diligently over the holidays and every day to get everyone to their destinations safely.
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2023 holiday travel season will be 'busiest ever,' TSA anticipates
Tsa has already recorded its busiest travel day ever this year, on june 30.
Lyft CEO reveals plan to make holiday travel less stressful
Lyft CEO David Risher says the company will credit the requester if a driver is late for airport pickup on 'The Claman Countdown.'
The Transportation Security Administration announced Monday that it is expecting the upcoming holiday travel season to be "the busiest ever."
The declaration comes after the TSA recorded seven of its ten highest volume travel days in its history so far in 2023, with the 2,884,783 passengers on June 30 being the most on record.
"We expect this holiday season to be our busiest ever," TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. "We are ready for the anticipated volumes and are working closely with our airline and airport partners to make sure we are prepared for this busy holiday travel season."
The TSA says the holiday season begins with a Thanksgiving travel period between this upcoming Friday, Nov. 17 and ending on Tuesday, Nov. 28.
US AIRLINES BOOST WINTER SCHEDULES TO MEET SURGE IN DEMAND
A TSA dog is seen with his handler at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on June 30, 2023, in Atlanta. That day was the busiest in TSA history. (Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)
"During the 12-day period, TSA expects to screen 30 million passengers. Historically, the three busiest travel days are the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward," it added. "TSA is projecting to screen 2.6 million passengers on Tuesday, Nov. 21; 2.7 million passengers on Wednesday, Nov. 22 and 2.9 million passengers on Sunday, Nov. 26, which will likely be the busiest travel day."
Pekoske said the agency will do its best to "maintain wait time standards of under 10 minutes for TSA PreCheck lanes and under 30 minutes for standard screening lanes."
FAA CREATES COMMITTEE TO ADDRESS PILOT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
Travelers are seen lining up at a Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint at Denver International Airport in Colorado on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)
Prior to this year’s record on June 30, the last time the TSA processed more than 2.88 million passengers in a single day was in December 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic .
The most recent highest volume day was on Oct. 15 when 2,797,326 passengers were processed – amounting to the fifth highest all-time, according to TSA data.
AAA also said Monday that it is projecting 55.4 million people will travel 50 miles or more over a Thanksgiving travel period between Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 26.
"The travel volume this year reflects an increase of 2.3 percent over last and marks the third-highest Thanksgiving travel since AAA began tracking in 2000," it said.
To help travelers get through security and to where they need to be, the TSA recommends to "pack smart" and start with empty bags to decrease the likelihood of bringing a prohibited item through the checkpoint.
Brake lights shine red as northbound 405 traffic backs up on Nov. 23, 2022 in the Encino area of Los Angeles, California. The AAA is expecting its third busiest Thanksgiving travel period on record this year. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images / Getty Images)
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS
It also said to have your identification ready as you enter the screening lane and arrive two hours prior to your plane’s departure for adequate time to be processed by agents.
FOX Business’ Jake Gibson, Marc Smith and Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.
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