Sky Harbor offers tips for Thanksgiving travel

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is prepared for a busy travel week. The Thanksgiving rush begins today and will continue through Monday. On the busiest days, Wednesday and Sunday, an estimated 150,000 passengers will travel through Sky Harbor, compared to an average daily number of 100,000. This is a 30 percent increase over last Thanksgiving.

If you are planning on parking in Sky Harbor’s terminals over Thanksgiving, a 40 percent off coupon lowers the full-day rate of $25 to only $15 through Nov. 30. This is an effort by the airport to encourage parking in the airport terminals, which are often under utilized during the holidays. It means no waiting for buses - just drive to your terminal, park, and walk directly to your gate. Coupons are available now at Economy parking is available at $9-$11 in the east and west lots and atop the Terminal 2 garage. For 24-hour parking information call 602-273-4545.

While there have been concerns about delays at some airports due to passengers “opting out” of electronic screening, Sky Harbor is not expecting any significant impact to passengers. Unlike many airports, Sky Harbor has seven different checkpoints, with four located in the busiest; Terminal 4. Passengers are reminded that if lines are long at any Terminal 4 checkpoint, they may go through a nearby checkpoint, as all gates can be reached beyond security. Concerns about the federal procedures may be directed to the TSA at: 866-289-9673, or

Additional travel tips:
* Arrive two hours before your flight departs if you are parking in remote lots, checking bags or traveling internationally.

* If you are carrying gifts, don’t wrap them, as the TSA may need to check inside.

* Most liquids and gels brought through the checkpoint must be in 3 oz containers or less, carried in a zip top bag, one bag per passenger and screened separately. Larger quantities of medically necessary liquids are allowed only at the discretion of TSA screeners.

* Wear shoes that are easy to remove at the checkpoint.

* Remove large electronics from your carry-on bags and place them in their own TSA bin.

* Have your claim check or ID ready at baggage claim when you return to Phoenix so that if you are approached by staff, you won’t be delayed looking for this information.

* Mark your bags clearly so you recognize them immediately, and they stand out as unique to you. Tie a colored ribbon on your bag for easier ID.

* Bring a snack or meal for the plane. Food may be carried through security and beverages may be purchased past security and brought onto the aircraft.

* Use the cell phone lots to wait for arriving passengers and avoid circling the terminals.