Thanksgiving 2022 travel tips for the Phoenix airport – The Arizona Republic

Even with higher airfares, airports will be packed with Thanksgiving travelers this year.
Hopper, a company that monitors airfare prices, anticipates that airlines will fill about 25 million seats on flights from U.S. airports during the holiday period, representing 6% greater capacity than 2019, before the pandemic.
Domestic round-trip airfare averaged $282 for the Thanksgiving holiday period from Nov. 20-27, up 17% from 2021 and close to 2019 prices, according to Hopper. International flights are pricier, up 30% from 2021 as well as 2019.
Phoenix is the No. 6 Thanksgiving travel destination in the U.S., AAA said based on its booking data. AAA is predicting more than 54 million people nationwide will travel for the holiday.
As Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport prepares for large numbers of travelers, here’s what to know if you’re flying for Thanksgiving 2022.
Taking off:Passenger traffic at the Phoenix airport beats pre-pandemic levels
The days leading up to Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday are when the most people will fly, according to Hopper.
The busiest time at Sky Harbor on these days is expected to be from 4 to 8 p.m.
Hopper forecasts that 726,551 passengers will fly through Sky Harbor Airport in late November. That would make it the ninth busiest U.S. airport of the travel period.
The two airlines that account for about 77% of all the passengers at Sky Harbor anticipate a busy Thanksgiving nationwide. American Airlines expects to operate more than 5,000 flights daily across its network, while Southwest Airlines expects about 3,900 daily flights.
Here’s Hopper’s forecast of the top 10 busiest airports for Thanksgiving 2022:
Coming soon:Phoenix airport is spending $1.7 billion on improvements
Here’s what you’ll pay to park at Sky Harbor Airport:
To make sure you get a spot, reserve your parking ahead of time at
If you didn’t make a reservation, use Sky Harbor’s Find a Spot tool, at, before you head to the airport. It will show you parking availability and pricing near your terminal.
Off-site parking is available through companies like PreFlight Airport Parking and the Parking Spot. They offer covered and uncovered parking plus shuttle service to and from the terminals.
PreFlight’s rates start at $12.99 per day for an uncovered spot. The Parking Spot’s rates vary based on demand, starting at $19.50 per day for uncovered self-parking.
Options:How to get to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport if you don’t want to drive and park
Sky Harbor Airport roadways and terminal curbs will be busier than usual during the holidays.
One way to avoid this hustle and bustle is to pick up and drop off passengers at the PHX Sky Train Station at 44th and Washington streets in Phoenix instead of driving into the airport. The traveler can ride the free Sky Train to the terminals.
If you’re picking someone up, wait in one of the free cellphone lots at Sky Harbor instead of driving laps around the terminals.
Airport cellphone lots:There’s a right and wrong way to use them
No. You can still go through security with any valid drivers license or state ID.
But if you don’t have a Real ID-compliant license, make plans to get one soon. Starting May 3, 2023, you won’t be able to pass security without a travel-compliant Real ID.
Real ID update: When you’ll need it to fly, how to get one, what you can use instead
Anything considered a liquid or gel can fly in checked luggage. Quantities greater than 3 ounces can’t fly in carry-on bags. These include jams and jellies, oils and vinegars, hummus, ice cream, sauces and dressings, bottled water and alcoholic beverages.
Items such as cakes, pies, solid cheeses, meats, coffee beans, ground coffee, dried fruit and nuts are allowed in carry-on and checked luggage, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
It’s up to the TSA officer conducting the screening whether an item can pass through the checkpoint. When in doubt, pack items in checked luggage.
For a full list of foods and drinks and whether you can travel with them, visit
Don’t forget to go through your empty bags before you pack them and remove any prohibited items. The TSA’s What Can I Bring page has a full list of what can and can’t be packed.
More:Phoenix flyers have more international options than before the pandemic. Here’s what’s new
Sky Harbor Airport staff recommend giving yourself plenty of time. Arrive two hours before departure for domestic flights and three hours before international flights.
Check traffic before you leave home: Roadways tend to be busier than usual as the holidays approach, and construction on Interstate 10 and State Route 143 near the airport might mean your normal route is disrupted and you need to plan an alternate.
Get updates from the Arizona Department of Transportation at or at
Once you’re at the airport, high traveler volumes may increase your wait time at security checkpoints. You can check real-time security waits at
Want to spend less time waiting in the security line? Use the free PHX Reserve service to reserve a place in the TSA line and show up at your chosen time. To make a reservation, go to
Flying with a service dog? The rules have changed. Here’s what you need to know
If you or someone you’re traveling with could use a little help getting through the airport, consider the TSA Cares program. It’s for people who have a medical condition or disability and need a little assistance to navigate the security process.
Call 855-787-2227 for more information. To fill out a request form, go to
More:6 ways the Phoenix airport is making travel easier for passengers with disabilities
Reach the reporter at Follow him on Twitter @salerno_phx.
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