Experts say Thanksgiving is the busiest holiday travel period of the year -- and this year, Boise Airport officials expect to see record numbers of travelers.
“The Boise Airport had a record number of passengers in 2017, with over 3.5 million people travelling through the airport that year,” said Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp. “This year, we’re eclipsing those numbers -- up eleven percent year-to-date -- and projected to see nearly 3.9 million passengers in 2018.”
In order to accommodate for the busy travel period, airport officials opened the economy parking lot, located at Victory and Orchard Streets. The lot is open daily through January 1, with free shuttles departing every fifteen minutes.
The combination of a busy year and busy holiday travel season means passengers should give themselves a little extra time when flying out of the Boise Airport.
“Our goal is to provide passengers with an exceptional airport experience,” said Hupp. “During the holiday season, we recommend passengers show up two hours before their departure. This gives them ample time to park, check-in and clear security.”
The busiest travel days are Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Saturday, Sunday and Monday after the holiday. On these peak days, it’s expected up to 15,000 passengers could be travelling through the Boise Airport.
“Public safety is our top priority,” said Boise Police Lieutenant Danielle Young. “When picking up your loved ones, please be sure to drive slow and be aware of your surroundings.”
For security reasons, officials are reminding travelers that the airport curb is for active loading and unloading only -– the airport recommends picking up passengers on both the lower and upper curb to ease congestion. “Parking in drive lanes is a safety hazard, and is against airport regulations. Guests can utilize the cell phone waiting area or short-term parking lot to wait for their passengers to arrive,” said Airport spokesman Sean Briggs.
Boise’s Transportation Security Administration Federal Security Director Andrew Coose stated, “We expect Thanksgiving week to be a busy one at Boise’s checkpoint, but we are prepared to handle the crowds in our typical ‘Idaho friendly’ fashion. We will have extra staff on overtime and will do everything to make sure passengers are quickly expedited on their way. Passengers can help themselves and TSA by packing carefully –- making sure there are no dangerous items in carry-ons and ensuring liquids are in less than 3.5 oz. containers.”
The TSA encourage passengers to pack smart; prepare for security checks when packing, and ensure that there are no prohibited items in your baggage. Passengers can bring pies, cakes and other baked goods through the checkpoints; however, liquids such as eggnog and maple syrup, and gels such as preserves and jellies, should go into checked bags.