The Wednesday before Thanksgiving used to be the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
This year, early booking data suggests Monday, November 22 will be the busiest travel day.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be the second busiest.
What does all this mean for locals planning to catch flights out of the Redmond Airport?
We visited the airport to find out.
Demand for domestic air travel is up more than 200 percent compared to last year, according to Travel and Leisure.
The increased activity is obvious at the Redmond Airport.
“We always tell people to be here two hours early, especially if their flight is in that early morning bank,” said Jayde Davis, Redmond Airport Security Manager. “The first seven flights of our day typically leave before 7 am. That’s where we see that pinch point in the TSA checkpoint; to get passengers checked in, to give them enough time to get through security screening. We definitely encourage a lot of time and preparation on that end.”
At Redmond Airport, airline check-in counters close 45 minutes prior to scheduled flight departure times.
No agents are available to check baggage or print boarding passes after that point, and that is something many travelers can’t seem to wrap their heads around.
“We are very busy. We have quite a few travelers coming in and out of Redmond. That really has not effected folks’ ability to get through the checkpoint,” Davis said. “We are busy enough that it’s fairly standard to what folks expect coming through the airport. That’s still pretty standard for the time experience.”
Davis says airlines have hired and trained new ticket counter personnel and staffing isn’t the problem it used to be.
But there other variables beyond control of the best prepared travelers.
“If we experience any kinds of weather delays or cancellations… if you wake up to fresh snow, we always encourage you to check with your airlines directly for any possible flight cancellations, delays or possible rescheduling.”
Redmond Airport has expanded its parking lots and does not expect the parking lots to exceed capacity this Thanksgiving holiday.
“Far better to be here early and prepared than to get here late and miss your flight,” Davis said.