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3 hours early? Dallas Love Field, DFW airports warning passengers of long lines, wait times ahead Thanksgiving week

Dallas Love Field is also warning travelers they should be prepared for limited garage space – which are first-come, first-served, including valet services.

DALLAS — Let’s be honest… you’re either a person who arrives at the airport an hour or two before your flight, or you’re responsible and get there hours early. We kid, we kid.

Either way, Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) are asking for travelers to arrive at least three hours before departure due to the busyness of the holidays, especially the week of Thanksgiving. 

At Love Field, TSA will also be opening at 3:30 a.m. each day through Nov. 29. 

"As soon as kids are out of school Friday, families are taking to the skies and traveling. So we're anticipating tomorrow will be busy," said Lauren Rounds, external communications and marketing manager for Dallas Love Field.

At least 238,000 people are expected to take a flight in Texas during Thanksgiving week, which is a 6% increase from 2021, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Nationwide, AAA says at least 4.5 million will fly across the United States that week. 

RELATED: AAA expects more robust Thanksgiving travel in Texas compared to 2021

The highest volume of passenger departures at DAL are expected on:

  • Friday, Nov. 18
  • Sunday, Nov. 20
  • Monday, Nov. 21
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22
  • Wednesday, Nov. 23
  • Saturday, Nov. 26
  • Sunday, Nov. 27

According to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) data of passengers screened at U.S. airport, the Sunday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27) and Dec. 23 is two of the busiest travel days of the year. 

Imagine the parking!

Dallas Love Field is warning travelers they should be prepared for limited garage space – which are first-come, first-served, including valet services. 

Love Field is warning that parking garages, including its newest 7-floor Parking Garage C, may be filled to capacity at some point in the next week.

If you plan on being at DFW, the second largest airport in the US, be sure to check the outlook on both parking and wait times here.

"Nobody ever ruined their trip by arriving at the airport too early," said Dallas-area travel agent Catherine Banks. "People are definitely going to be out traveling in numbers we've never seen before. And then also the airlines have been such a mess close to a year now and it's not going to get any better because there's a lot of people traveling this week."

Love Field’s and DFW's advice: utilize alternate means of transportation like rideshare, public transportation or family and friends. 

Offsite parking services at The Parking Spot, which is close by DAL, are available. Click here for more information. 

Not only is traffic a factor, but the WFAA weather team is tracking a weather pattern that’s shaping up to bring rain in the days ahead of Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving.  

RELATED: Thanksgiving could be wet... here's what you need to know for the busy travel week

Keep road safety in mind, try not to be like the McCallister family in search of Kevin (Home Alone anyone?), and plan to be at the airport for a while this holiday season.

Dallas Love Field is fully decorated now. Wreaths and garlands and Christmas trees line the concourses, ticket areas, and baggage claim. And to help keep it festive, airport officials as for the help of passengers and the patience they hope you pack with your luggage too.

"Everybody is doing to be a little anxious traveling through the airport with so many people all around them," said Lauren Rounds. "So we just ask people to be patient and extend grace to all of the staff here that are trying to get them safely to their destination."

Post-pandemic destinations that millions are now ready and thankful to reach.

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