Sunday after Thanksgiving projected to be busiest airline travel day for Houston airports

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Sunday, November 27, 2022
Houston Airports say busiest day for air travel in Houston will be Sunday after Thanksgiving
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The busiest day in TSA's history came on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019, when nearly 2.9 million people were screened at airport security.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Sunday could be the busiest airline travel day of the year as people rush home from the Thanksgiving holiday. Officials with Houston Airports project the number of passengers going through Bush and Hobby Airport could rival the record-breaking numbers they saw in 2019, right before the pandemic.

It's been a mostly smooth experience for travelers who flew through Hobby Airport in the morning. However, people who spoke to ABC13 say they gave themselves extra time just in case.

"We made sure we were packed up. We made sure we got here early enough in case there were a lot of crowds so we could get through and get to our flight in time," Alicia Foss, who was flying back to Miami, Florida, with her family, said.

"Everything's been very efficient. Like no issues raised or arose at all," Eric Peake said.

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The busiest day in TSA's history was the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019. In a media release, a representative with Houston Airports said they expected a combined 2.3 million travelers between November 17th and 29th at Bush and Hobby Airport. That's a projected 3% increase from 2019 and a 9% increase from 2021.

"So, I'm here extra early. I was nervous. I actually travel a lot, and being that we are traveling today on the day that everyone is going home from Thanksgiving, I got here in plenty of time to make sure I didn't have any trouble going through security and getting to my flight," Monique Hayes, who was traveling to Mexico, said.

AAA predicts 54.6 million people travel at least 50 miles from home in the U.S. during Thanksgiving week. That's a 1.5% bump from 2021 and only 2% less than the record-setting year in 2019.

For those flying on peak travel days, experts recommend adding an extra hour to your airport travel time. Check your flight status, security wait times, or openings in the parking garage online. Use TSA's checklist to ensure everything you bring in your carry-on is allowed.

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Shabbir and Sumaila Masih said they gave themselves plenty of time to prepare for this morning's flight.

"We came early to make sure we can sit together with our three kids. We had an experience with United Airlines where they split us up. So now we're flying Southwest, so we can board early and asked to be sat together," they said. "We went to bed at 6 p.m. yesterday, so we had time to eat and get to the airport this morning in time."

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