MSP sees potentially record-breaking post-Thanksgiving travel

MSP sees big post-Thanksgiving day crowds

MSP sees big post-Thanksgiving day crowds

Millions across the country packed bags — and their appetite — to sit across the table from loved ones on Thanksgiving.

“You get to spend time with family. That’s the best part,” said traveler Wafiyyah O’Hara.

Flyers are passing through the airport during the busiest travel rush of the year.

This year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is expected to match or surpass 2021 activity.

The Transportation Security Administration said it expects nearly 3 million people to go through security nationwide Sunday — the most they’ve ever seen in the agency’s 22-year history.

The TSA says it screened more than 2.7 million people on Wednesday, which is thousands more than the same day back in 2019.

RELATED: Holiday weekend travel rush begins Wednesday

MSP officials said Sunday and Monday are the days travelers typically return home, and AAA believes more than 4.5 million Americans are expected to travel by air over Thanksgiving week, which is an 8% jump over 2021.

“It was really busy but it was nice because it felt like home,” said Sammantha Mucangi, a traveler.

Airport officials say extra staff has been ready to help at ticketing levels and near security checkpoints.

“It was very easy, smooth sailing,” said O’Hara.

“We’re sitting back drinking coffee. We’re not even through security. I would say relaxed overall,” said traveler Tra Patel.

But last year was a much different story. In December of 2022, severe winter storms knocked out thousands of flights and left millions stranded across the U.S.

This time around, U.S. Transportation officials put protocols in place to better prepare for holiday travel by hiring more air traffic controllers and funding more snowplows and de-icing equipment.

Some passengers say there’s one thing you can do to avoid any surprises.

“Just try to come a bit early. That’s kind of what I’m doing right now,” said Mucangi.

“I wanted to play pretty safe. I’m about two hours and 15 minutes early. I don’t know if some people would consider that early. But I do,” said traveler Sam Moser.

Airport workers say they had over a 50% increase in foot traffic last night compared to last year. They believe some travelers moved their flights to avoid any winter weather cancellations.

On Sunday at MSP, there were nearly 200 delays and five cancellations.

Travelers may also experience more congestion on the roads around the airport, so MSP also added another cell phone waiting lot on Post Road, with an additional 140 spaces between the old and the new lot.

CLICK HERE to view the latest on flight delays and cancellations at MSP.