Thanksgiving Holiday Airport Travel Tips

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It’s that time of the year as the busy holiday travel season kicks off with Thanksgiving tomorrow. Millions of Americans will be flying this holiday season so here’s a rundown on a few travel tips you’ll want to check out before your upcoming flight.

Arrive Early: Airports will be packed with long security lines, and lines to check-in at the ticket counter. Be sure to allow for extra time getting to the airport with added traffic. Additionally, most airlines have a baggage cut-off time, which means if you don’t check your bags in at the required time, you won’t be allowed to. For instance, Delta has a 60 minute baggage cut off at New York’s John F. Kennedy.

Follow TSA Rules: The TSA recently announced today that it has completed rollout of enhanced screening procedures for carry-on baggage. With these new changes, TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate other items from carry-on bags such as foods, powders, and any materials that can clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine. Be sure you know what’s allowed to speed through security.

TSA Pre-Check: With long security lines, the best option is to have Pre-Check. You can keep your shoes on, laptops stay in your bag, and you go through a metal detector. There are several credit cards that will reimburse the fee to sign-up for Pre-Check or Global Entry (which gets you Pre-check) including the The Platinum Card® from American Expressor  The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN.

CLEAR: Another airport game changer for getting through security is CLEAR. CLEAR uses fingerprint and iris I.D. technology to expedite the document check portion of the TSA security process. CLEAR members verify their identity in the dedicated CLEAR lane and then enter either TSA PreCheck or general screening depending on their status, reducing the overall amount of time spent at security. New Yorkers, will be glad as CLEAR Finally Coming to JFK’s Terminal 4 Next Week.

Utilize Public Transportation: It’s great getting dropped off or taking a Uber to the airport, but with some traffic this week, consider taking public transportation. Whether that means taking the E train to New York’s John F. Kennedy or MARTA to Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson as examples, you won’t find yourself sitting in traffic, and chances are you’ll arrive quicker than an Uber.

Mobile Boarding Passes: Long are the days of printing out your boarding pass at home before your flight. Every major US airline has an app where you can check-in and get your mobile boarding pass. This is a great way to avoid even having to check-in at a kiosk if you’re not checking luggage and head directly to security and then the gate.

Check out more 8 travel tips for a smooth trip this holiday season that Delta has put together for travelers for even more ways to save time at the airport this holiday.

Do you have Thanksgiving travel tips you’d like to share? Feel free to add them to the comments below. 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

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Here at Points, Miles and Martinis, we love all things travel. We focus on topics relating to travel including destinations, airline, hotel, car rental and credit card reward programs. Our goal is to help people travel better. - See more at our About Us page.

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