North Texas Airports Experiencing Spring Break Travel Rush

Officials are warning travelers to plan ahead and get to the airports at least two hours early

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Thousands of families across North Texas are kicking off Spring Break vacation on Friday.

If your plans involve flying out of the airport, remember that more travelers means more room for headaches.

Airport officials are expecting bigger crowds now through the weekend and beyond. The airports have been prepping for the spring reak holiday and leadership with the Transportation Security Administration is also making sure they are staffed up to handle it.

There are already indications that this will be a spring break for the record books.

DFW Airport said it is expecting 4.2 million passengers between March 2 and March 20, which is 14.3% increase compared to last year and an 11.8% increase when compared to Spring Break 2019.

“DFW Airport is more than ready to warmly welcome all our Spring Break travelers and provide them with an exceptional customer experience,” said Ken Buchanan, executive vice president of revenue management and customer experience, in a post on the airport’s website. “We are already seeing a large increase in passengers eager to take that exciting trip to a fun destination. 2023 is shaping up to be one of our best years yet.”

Love Field is expecting similar increases in passengers.

“So we're expecting a lot of passengers and a lot of families to come through our doors over the next couple of weeks,” said Lauren Rounds, a spokesperson for Dallas Love Field. “We're really projecting over 30,000 passengers coming and going each day over the next couple of weeks.”

It’s clear travel demand is still as strong than ever. Because of this, airport officials want travelers to know that hiccups are more likely to happen if you don’t plan ahead.

“We’re recommending passengers arrive two hours before their schedule departure time to allow enough time for ticketing, baggage check-in and TSA security screening, as well as parking if passengers are driving themselves. Because that is a lot more common now post pandemic,” said Rounds.

An increase in travel demand means an increase in parking demand at the airports. Rounds said parking garages at Love Field have been filling up fast during peak travel periods. If you can’t snag a spot earlier in the travel week, try to use ride share, find a ride with someone you know, or prepare to park further away.

Be sure to check Dallas Love Field’s Twitter page for daily updates on parking garage capacities.

DFW Airport is reporting similar demands for parking.

“We expect our parking garages and lots to be very busy, and Terminals C and D tend to fill up the quickest. For customers flying American Airlines, if parking is unavailable at your departure terminal, you can park, check-in, and check baggage at any of our five terminals. Express and Remote parking is also available with shuttle service to all terminals,” the airport said in an announcement.

In addition to packing your patience, make sure you don’t pack something that could cause a hold up in the TSA lines.

“To speed up the screening process with TSA and baggage checking, make sure you're checking your bags for content before you get here,” said Rounds. “We're definitely encouraging passengers to make sure that their firearms are unloaded and packed appropriately and you declare them at check in so that all necessary parties are aware of what you have with you.”

Click here for more information on TSA guidelines for carry-on and checked luggage.

The demand in spring break vacations means we’ll probably see a busy summer travel season.

AAA travel agents report more people are booking trips farther in advance. They recommend making plans for summer sooner rather than later to avoid higher airline ticket prices and hotel rates.

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