SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — In a week from now, the Syracuse Hancock International Airport will be packed with hundreds of people looking to travel home or to a friend or relative’s for Thanksgiving.
Compared to last year’s traffic levels — which rebounded to within two percent of all-time record levels — this year’s travel forecast is predicted to be historic with a nearly eight percent increase in travelers.
“Defined as the 12-day period of Friday, Nov. 17 through Tuesday, Nov. 28, the Thanksgiving travel stretch is expected to feature over 58,000 passengers boarding flights at SYR,” stated the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA).
The increase in travelers comes from not only more people traveling, but new airlines that have been introduced within the past couple of years, which includes Breeze Airways and Sun Country Airlines. On top of that, more non-stop flights have been added as well.
Thanksgiving travel at the national level expects the three busiest days to be Tuesday, Nov. 21, Wednesday, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Nov. 26.
Locally, the SRAA expects Sunday, Nov. 26, Sunday, Nov. 19, and Friday, Nov. 17 to be the busiest travel days with 5,300 and 6,000 travelers boarding flights in Syracuse.
“The SRAA and our airport partners will be ready to welcome a record number of passengers at the airport,” said SRAA Executive Director Jason Terreri. “Whether you are flying out to visit family and friends, or arriving to spend time in Central New York, expect the airport to be busy. Our team will be ready, and we are asking that passengers plan extra time for parking, check-in and to clear our TSA security checkpoint. This will help ensure your travel experience through SYR goes as smoothly as possible.”
In order to prepare for the amount of travelers, TSA is now opening the security checkpoint at 3:30 a.m. in order to accommodate the early flights departing Syracuse, and make room for flights throughout the day.
SRAA strongly recommends that travelers arrive at least two hours before their scheduled departure, especially during the hours of 4 a.m. to 6 a.m., 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In 2022, the Syracuse airport added 1,000 new parking spaces in the airport’s new Economy Lot to prepare for Thanksgiving travel. However, parking is still limited. The SRAA still recommends Thanksgiving travelers who will be leaving their car at the airport to pre-book their parking.
If travelers want to seek day-of or drive-up parking, they are encouraged to monitor the availability on the airport’s parking website.