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Wednesday expected to be busiest travel day during Thanksgiving holiday

Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport is anticipating a busy 2021 holiday season.
Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport is anticipating a busy 2021 holiday season.(WTOC)
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 5:55 AM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Wednesday is expected to be the busiest travel day at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.

Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday travel this week, the airport expects about 65,000 travelers to pass through.

Not only is the airport seeing more travelers than they did last year, but even bigger numbers than they did in 2019 before the pandemic.

But if you are traveling for the first time in a while, here are a few reminders. Arrive at the airport two hours before your flight because there will be lines going through the TSA checkpoint and possibly lines at ticketing. Also, if you typically drive to the airport, they are expecting parking to fill up. Airport officials say they do, however, have plans in place for overflow parking, but it will take more time so just be prepared.

Planning ahead and packing properly can speed up the screening process and ease your travel experience at the airport. Know what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage before arriving at the airport by clicking here.

“Make sure you check your bags in terms of check to make sure there is no prohibited items. A lot of people stick something in a bag in their closet and they don’t think about it, then you go to the airport and you might have something that shouldn’t be in there and you will get sent to the back of the line or worse, so, plan ahead of what you can carry through security and what you can’t,” said Lori Lynah, Director of Marketing and Air Service Development at Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.

If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year and plan to pick someone up from the airport, they strongly encourage you to use the cell phone lot to wait in your car for free until you can pick up your passenger. They have extra officers set up outside to help keep traffic moving in the drop-off and pick-up zones.

Health experts are also concerned there might be another Covid spike after the holiday season, so they are urging you to do your part to stay safe.

Dr. Lawton Davis from the Coastal Health District says even though cases are dropping in Georgia, cases have gone up nationwide and some states are currently seeing increases. They advise travelers do a little research about where they are going or where their loved ones are coming from this Thanksgiving.

“Be smart, be intelligent. If you are with your core family and you are all vaccinated and you know they are all careful, you should feel pretty good. If you are bringing in people from other parts of the country and you are not quite sure, you really need to be careful,” said Dr. Lawton Davis / Coastal Health District.

If you are nervous about traveling and potentially exposing other people, you can always get a rapid test at home. But remember, that only means you weren’t likely infected at the time you collected the sample, and isn’t 100 percent reliable, so remember the 3 W’s - wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance.

Don’t forget, you’ll need a mask if you’re traveling by air. Airports are still under a federal mask mandate. You’ll have to wear them inside the airport and on the plane.

Also, consider packing snacks. Many shops and restaurants inside airports nationwide are still limiting operation hours and some may be closed.

And check your flight before leaving the house. Click here to check arrival/departure times at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport.

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