Holiday travel season kicks off at Phoenix Sky Harbor

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The holiday travel season is in full swing with its official start today. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo) The holiday travel season is in full swing with its official start today. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)
Some 51 million passengers are expected to be traveling between today and Jan. 4. That is a 3.5 percent increase over last year's record of 49.3 million. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo) Some 51 million passengers are expected to be traveling between today and Jan. 4. That is a 3.5 percent increase over last year's record of 49.3 million. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 file photo)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The holiday travel season is in full swing with its official start today.

The early Friday morning hours at Phoenix Sky Harbor already showed signs of increased travelers. Terminal 2 was buzzing at 4 a.m. when our crews arrived.

[RELATED: Life hacks that take the headache out of holiday travel]

Some 51 million passengers are expected to be traveling between today and Jan. 4. That is a 3.5 percent increase over last year's record of 49.3 million.

The airlines are really stepping up to meet the need with 91,000 more seats and a growth in airline staff for the fourth year in a row. 

[VIDEO: Making holiday travel with kids safe and easy]

Expect busy terminals, long lines at security and TSA's new rule that will require you to place electronics bigger than a cell phone in a bin at the security checkpoint.

Some airlines are trying to make today more enjoyable with some festive treats.

[VIDEO: Holiday travel tips]

Today is National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day. If you are flying Alaska Airlines today, wear your holiday sweater and you’ll be rewarded at the gate with early boarding.

Sky Harbor also has some tips for travel including pre-paid parking and a first-ever holiday gift guide — so you can shop while you wait for your flight.  Links are below.

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