LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As holiday travel enters its peak period, Little Rock’s Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport officials anticipate a surge in passengers.
The Thanksgiving travel period from Nov. 16-26 is expected to see an 8.4% increase in departing passengers as 42,463 more move through the airport than in previous years, per Transportation Security Administration estimates.
Officials expect the three biggest days for travel at the Clinton National Airport to be Thursday, Nov. 16, Friday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 26.
Airport and TSA officials recommend travelers arrive two hours before their scheduled departure time. They also recommend becoming familiar with the airport’s parking layout.
The airport’s TSA checkpoint opens at 4 a.m. and ticket counters open around 3:30 a.m., enabling early check-in.
Officials remind passengers to check their carry-on bags for guns before leaving home. Passengers are prohibited from packing firearms in carry-on luggage and face up to a nearly $15,000 penalty for bringing a gun to a TSA security checkpoint.
Airport director of public affairs Shane Carter encourages passengers to plan and give themselves time to ease movement.
“Being proactive is an important part of eliminating stress when traveling,” Carter said. “Planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of time to park, check bags, go through the TSA screening process, and arrive at your gate at least 30 minutes ahead of your flight are always an important part of the travel process, particularly during the busy holiday season.”
Nationally, as many as 30 million passengers are expected to undergo TSA screenings for Thanksgiving travel. That will be a record number of travelers in 2023 during what has traditionally been the busiest stretch of travel for U.S. airports.