SWFL airports bracing for busy Thanksgiving travel

What you need to know for your travel
Posted at 3:16 PM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-24 06:00:37-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- It's that time of year to reminisce before your holiday travel. Do you remember those long lines and crowded planes? Airlines are asking travelers to arrive early and pack patience.

Christina Tringali says she doesn't mind the wait.

"Parking our car was horrible," Tringali said. "But it's worth it. I haven't seen my family in a really long time. It's been a few months but it feels like a really long time."

There are thousands of people flying in and out from Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) on one of the busiest travel dates of the holiday season.

"I have a feeling that getting into the night it'll get pretty busy," Tringali said.

To start the Thanksgiving holiday stress-free, RSW is posting traffic alerts on their Facebook page, hoping flyers and their families will keep an eye out for any possible delays.

Howard Gatzke says he's been waiting for more than half an hour for his son to fly in for Thanksgiving.

"I think his flight is delayed 30 minutes from Minneapolis. We're having some snow there."

For others it's been a smooth ride, welcomed with great weather and Florida sunshine.

"Everything went well," Jackie Simpson, flying in from Nebraska said. "It wasn't crowded. Everything was fine."

"Everybody is pretty calm," Rachel Poe said. "You'd think they'd be a little hectic with busy traveling day but everyone's seems to be in a good mood."

If you're traveling for Thanksgiving, here are a few tips:

  • arrive at least two hours before your domestic flight
  • arrive at least three hours before your international flight
  • check e-mail for airline updates
  • make sure the airline has your correct number and e-mail address in case there are any changes or delays
  • many airlines allow you to check-in from a mobile app
  • check airport FB page for any posted traffic delays
  • If you're stuck in traffic, you can call 5-1-1 to find out about any delays in real time.