Thanksgiving travel rush begins for Oklahomans this week

Will Rogers World Airport officials say packed flights begin this Friday and continue through the holiday.
BY JENNIFER PALMER jpalmer@opubco.com Published: November 16, 2011
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Like the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner, airplanes carrying holiday travelers are likely to be stuffed.

Airline managers in Oklahoma City say flights will be filled to capacity for most of the week leading up to and the days after Thanksgiving, said Karen Carney, spokeswoman for Will Rogers World Airport. The airport's busiest days are expected to be Friday, theWednesday before and the Sunday and Monday after the holiday.

“We also anticipate more people traveling on nontraditional days such as the Tuesday before and the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.”

Fares are up but that hasn't stopped people from booking flights, said Rick Seaney, a travel expert and owner of the website farecompare.com. He said travelers are paying 7 to 8 percent more for tickets than they did a year ago.

And though the Air Transport Association predicts 2 percent fewer travelers, airline capacity is down 3 percent to 5 percent, Seaney said.

“There are fewer seats, so it's going to be packed,” he said.

This time of year, Carney said, there are more leisure travelers who aren't experienced fliers, including families, students, seniors and large groups. This often slows the line at the checkpoint. So does having more people in coats and jackets and carrying on luggage to avoid bag fees.

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At a glance

At the airport

• Before the airport, make sure you don't have any prohibited items in your carry-on, purse, briefcase or pockets. A list of those items is available at www.tsa.gov or with the TSA mobile app.

• Do not wrap presents.

• Have your boarding pass and photo ID ready as you approach the ticket counter.

• Be sure all liquids and gels are three ounces or less and placed in a one-quart, zip-lock bag. Place this bag separately in a bin.

• Any liquids such as bottled water, juice or soda must be consumed or disposed of before the checkpoint. Holiday snacks are permitted as long as you can't squish, squeeze or pour it (like jelly or BBQ sauce.)

• Bottles of baby formula, breast milk and liquid medications are allowed but should be declared for inspection.

• Coats, jackets and shoes must be removed and can be placed in the same bin as the zip-lock bag.

• Laptops should be removed from the carrying case and placed in a separate bin.

Source: Will Rogers World Airport

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