3 On Your Side
3 On Your Side

Travel with ease on Thanksgiving

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(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

Cheap gas prices are encouraging many families to hit the road for Thanksgiving. However, Sky Harbor International Airport isn't off the hook. The airport is going to see 30 percent increase when it comes to passengers.

"We are expecting that 1.44 million Arizonans will be traveling 50 or more miles from home," AAA spokeswoman Michelle Donati-Grayman said. 

That is a lot of people on the road, which is exactly why the Thanksgiving holiday weekend will be one of the busiest ever. Donati-Grayman said you might want to avoid traveling on Wednesday if possible. 

“You have a lot of people trying to get to many different places all at once," she said. 

AAA suggests waiting until Thanksgiving morning to hit the road if you can because fewer motorists will be out. 

"We boast the lowest gas prices on the West Coast, and we’ve had that title for months now," Donati-Grayman said. 

But what about if you're flying? You can expect to see the largest number of Thanksgiving passengers since 2008. Heather Lissner is with Sky Harbor International Airport and said that typically about 100,000 people travel in and out of Sky Harbor each day.

"We are expecting about 30 percent more traffic on Thanksgiving than usual. It's going to be busy," Lissner said. 

Passengers we spoke with at Sky Harbor said they're doing what they can to avoid the crowds. Nathan Wagner and his family are traveling from Texas. 

"Normally we go camping on Thanksgiving, but this time we're going to the Grand Canyon," he said. 

Brenda Whitlock is traveling from Indiana.

"I have a big family. They're mostly in Indiana and Michigan, so we do a lot of driving," she said. 

So how can you and your family members survive the airport rush? Gas up your car the day before you depart because many folks don't leave enough time for buying gas on the way to the airport.

Remember to arrive two hours before your flight because the TSA's checkpoints will have long lines. Also, make sure you weigh your luggage before you arrive to avoid unexpected fees and delays. Check with your airline before to see what their weight limits are. If you're bringing gifts, don't wrap them, even if you put them in your checked baggage. 

Also, use your phone's apps. Most airlines allow you to check in, confirm seats and keep track of your flight's status with your smartphone. 

Casey Wagner and his family told 3 On Your Side they have their traveling down to a routine and recommend you do as well.

"If you don't have to check a bag you're going to save yourself some time waiting for the bag, obviously. Getting a rental car ahead of time, making your hotel reservations, make sure you know where you're going ahead of time - all these help simplify things," Wagner said. 

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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