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Salt Lake Airport prepares for busy Thanksgiving travel

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake International Airport and the Transportation Safety Agency (TSA) are preparing for a busy Thanksgiving travel season — beginning this Friday.

The days leading up to and immediately following the Thanksgiving holiday could see an 8% increase in flyers at the airport, TSA officials said.

On Friday, November 22, officials expect to see 25,000 passengers go through Salt Lake International. Another busy day will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. And on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the airport expects as many as 30,000 passengers.

“It will feel busy,” said TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers, “but I can assure you we will be fully staffed and able to accommodate everyone.”

Airport officials and the TSA say the drill is the same this Thanksgiving, and throughout the entire holiday season, as it has been since the attacks of September 11, 2001.  They remind travelers who don’t fly often to arrive early, to dress for security (easy on and off shoes, etc.), to be aware of the rules for traveling with liquids, and to use gift bags instead of wrapping paper if you are traveling with gifts.

“If it [a gift] shows up as suspicious on the x-ray,” Dankers said, “officers can look at it, put it back in the gift bag, and you’ll be on your way.”

You can check security wait times online.

The airport says the highest volume of flying passengers is between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., and then again 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and an afternoon rush from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Contributing: Simone Seikaly