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Busy Thanksgiving travel at DIA will start Friday

30 million expected to travel now through Nov. 27
Posted at 12:39 PM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 14:45:51-05

This Thanksgiving travel season is expected to rank as one of the busiest ever. Industry group Airlines for America reports that more than 30 million passengers are expected to take to the skies between Friday and Nov. 27.

"It's really not a surprise that we're seeing record travel," said Rebecca Spicer of Airlines for American. "Airfares are down 5 percent from this time last year, airlines are adding routes and going to new routes."

DIA is predicted to be the fifth busiest airport in the country this Thanksgiving travel week. Insure My Trip said the busiest time to leave DIA is 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Travelers departing from DIA Friday said they booked this day specifically to avoid the worst crowds.

"I never take time off but I wanted to see the family, spend some time with them, and beat the rush," said Josh Strauss, who was heading home to New York.

Kirsten Ross, who was flying to Ohio, said she flies out on Friday and returns the following Friday to have a full week with family. 

An additional holiday travel headache this year is the construction on DIA's Great Hall. Many restaurants are currently closed and it's a little more complicated to navigate the terminal. Travelers can find maps and updated information at Industry experts also advise downloading your airline's app.

"I would call ahead, or check the app, before you even leave home," Spicer said.

She said she suggests arriving at the airport two hours ahead of your flight time, check in from home, and print your boarding passes at home or use a mobile boarding pass.

Click here for 7 things to help you get through DIA this holiday season.