Expect the airport to be busier than ever for the Thanksgiving holiday.
TSA has screened a record number of passengers this year and expects Wednesday to be the busiest day yet with almost 3 million passengers expected.
If you haven’t been at the airport in a while, there are some new changes you’ll want to keep in mind including a brand new TSA checkpoint at Jacksonville International Airport.
After a year of construction, TSA is unveiling new technology and added an extra lane to keep things moving.
The message from airport officials is clear this Thanksgiving weekend: arrive early!
“The rule of thumb we like to stay with is two hours. That’s not trying to find a parking spot, but two hours at the airport,” said Michael Steward with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.
And leave the weapons at home. In 2023, TSA officers found 65 firearms at security checkpoints.
Airport officials say the busiest travel days will be this Wednesday, Sunday and Monday at Jacksonville’s airport. But even on Monday, there were some people who missed their flights.
The Krueger family is trying to make it to Washington, D.C. for Thanksgiving but missed their noon flight.
“We are seeing a lot of family. There are 12 of us that are going to be in one house. And then we’re running a turkey trot on Thanksgiving,” they said.
Changes at TSA checkpoints are meant to speed things up with more lanes open and a more advanced security screening process. But backups are still possible.
If you bring extra-large bags, you might slow down the line. That’s because of new screening equipment. Everything will need to fit inside a bin to get through the screening process.
Chris Baden: 37:53 “Some people like it and some people are still getting used to it,” said Chris Baden, NEFL Assistant federal Security Director. “Make sure they have nothing on their person. Everything should be packed in your bag when you go through the screening process. Pay attention to the officers instructions and be listening.”
The good news is you no longer need to remove your electronics from your bag with this new technology and that’s helping speed up the TSA screening processes.
If you have questions on what you can and can’t bring through security, check out this list.
A temporary third economy lot will open on Wednesday, Nov. 22 for a pre-paid flat $40 fee for the entire stay. This lot will be open on a first-come, first-served basis. Once at capacity, it will remain closed through Thanksgiving weekend.
A detailed list of on-airport parking options, as well as rates can be found below:
Airport Parking Rates:
Hourly Garage – $2.00 every half hour up to $24/dailyDaily Garage – $2.00 every half hour up to $20/dailyDaily Surface Lot – $2.00 every half hour up to $14/dailyEconomy Lot #1 – $8 per dayEconomy Lot #2 – $8 per dayEconomy Lot #3 – Pre-paid $40 flat fee for the entire stay (opens Wednesday, Nov. 22 until Dec. 4)Valet Parking – Questions can be directed to 904-741-3900.