ST. LOUIS — The busy Thanksgiving travel season is expected to be even more crowded at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
Airport officials are expecting a 3% increase in travelers going through security checkpoints over the 11-day holiday travel rush that begins Friday, Nov. 22. The increase amounts to an additional 6,000 people going through the security lines at Lambert.
Officials at Lambert are expecting the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to be the busiest travel day, followed closely by the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Busiest Thanksgiving travel days expected at Lambert:
- Wednesday, Nov. 27: 24,000 passengers
- Sunday, Dec. 1: 23,400 passengers
- Tuesday, Nov. 26: 21,483
- Friday, Nov. 22: 20,500 passengers
Inside the terminals, the gates will likely be even more crowded with layover passengers than previous years. So far this year, connecting passenger traffic is up 4% at Lambert.
Travelers—and those who are picking up loved ones—who haven’t been to Lambert recently will find a redesigned departures drop-off area at Terminal 2. The airport changed the layout of the drop-off zone to parallel lanes, which doubled the spots to more than 40. ADA-accessible loading zones along the curb also were added.
Passengers are encouraged to arrive at the airport early, Lambert officials suggested getting there at least two hours before a domestic flight’s scheduled departure.
The TSA also offered these five travel tips:
- Pack smart. Prepare for security when packing and ensure that there are no prohibited items in baggage. As always, passengers can bring pies, cakes and other baked goods through the checkpoints; however, liquids such as eggnog and maple syrup, and gels such as preserves and jellies, should go into checked bags. Liquids in carry-on must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule.
- Get your TSA Pre✓® membership. Individuals who do not have TSA Pre✓® should enroll now to get TSA Pre✓® benefits, available at more than 200 U.S. airports, in time for their holiday travel. Travelers enrolled in a trusted traveler program, like TSA Pre✓®, do not need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets.
- Ask for passenger support. Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and/or medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to flying with any questions about screening policies, procedures and to find out what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares also arranges assistance at the checkpoint.
- Ensure you have proper ID. Before heading to the airport, travelers should make sure they have an acceptable ID. Identity verification is an important step in the security screening process. Travelers are also reminded that REAL ID enforcement is less than 1 year away. Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. Review the list of acceptable identification.
- Have questions? Ask TSA. Travelers can get assistance in real time by submitting their questions and comments to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Travelers can also reach the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673. Staff is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends/holidays; and an automated service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.