Travelers flying out of DFW Airport this holiday season will want to arrive earlier than normal to allow for time to get through security and construction, airport officials say.
“We’re advising people to come at least two hours early for their flights just to give themselves extra time and make sure they make it through all the construction areas and get a good place to park and all those kinds of things,” said David Magana, DFW Airport spokesperson “Time solves a lot of issues and can help a lot of ways.”
The airport expects to see 178,000 passengers on Friday alone, the busiest travel day of the holiday season. That’s nearly 15,000 more passengers than on any normal day at the airport.
“We’ve seen kids and families and people that don’t normally travel for a living, so those family travelers and inexperienced travelers may take a little longer to get thru the checkpoints,” said Magana.
One thing slowing travelers going through security – wrapped Christmas presents.
“It is a good idea to bring any gifts that you’ve got unwrapped because if for some reason they need to look at it, they’re going to tear the wrapping paper off of it in the checkpoint to look at whatever item you might have” said Magana.
“Just getting off shoes and getting everything that you need out of the backpacks and getting your jackets off and ... everything that they need,” said Gretchen Sanchez, of Flower Mound, “It's not too bad, but it does take time.”
The Sanchez’s, a family of five, are flying to Colorado Springs to spend the holidays with family.
“I have to make lists [a] couple [of] weeks in advance and phone calls to wherever we’re going, especially if we’re seeing family and we have to pack five suitcases and make sure everybody’s doing what they need to do,” said Gretchen Sanchez.
But the holiday hassle is worth it according to Gretchen's husband John, a frequent business traveler.
“It is different getting the whole family together and getting everybody through the airport,” said John Sanchez. “But, when I think about it, I think about being in the car for 11 hours versus getting through the airport in a couple hours. It’s nothing when you think about it that way.”
The busy travel days return right after Christmas. Dec. 26 and 27 are the next busiest days of the holiday season.