Busy holiday travel season kicks off at Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport

NOW: Busy holiday travel season kicks off at Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Thanksgiving travel rush has officially begun. This is expected to be the busiest holiday travel season since 2019.

More than 100,000 travelers are expected to pass through the airport in Milwaukee this week.

"Sixteen-thousand arriving and departing passengers per day through the holidays," said Mark Lendvay, federal security director for TSA Wisconsin. TSA is fully staffing all of its available passenger screening lanes ahead of the busy holiday rush.

For smooth travel this season, officials encourage passengers to arrive at least two hours before departure, download your airline mobile app for fast flight updates, and finally, pack smart. Keep your carry-on bags uncluttered and make sure there are no prohibited items inside.

"If it can spill, spray, pump or pour, it's something that's not a solid, it needs to be in your checked baggage," said Lendvay.

The number of Americans expected to travel by air over Thanksgiving is up 8% from last year, according to AAA.

Air traveler volume is expected to be about 99% of what it was in 2019. "We like this facility busy with people trying to connect with family and loved ones. It's really nice, honestly, to see things coming back to those levels that we had before," said Brian Dranzik, airport director - Milwaukee Mitchell International.

Mitchell International Airport is also unveiling a new pay system to help speed up the process. Pay stations can be found throughout the building, allowing travelers to pay electronically, via tap, mobile pay, or through a smartphone app. People will still be able to pay when exiting the parking garage, but the new system will provide an additional option to speed things up.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is expected to be the busiest day this week, so anyone planning to travel that day should pack a little extra patience and plan ahead.

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