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DIA bracing for busy holiday travel as people head home after Thanksgiving holiday

Posted at 11:02 AM, Nov 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-23 21:46:34-05

DENVER — As the Thanksgiving holiday wraps up, hundreds of thousands of people are heading home, and Denver International Airport is bracing itself for a busy few days.

More than 1.2 million travelers are expected to pass through the airport this week. Sunday will likely be the busiest with a projected 205,000 travelers.

“A lot of (them) probably took a full, long weekend and are going back to work on Monday,” said Chris Bettlach, who was heading to Chicago for a second Thanksgiving celebration with relatives there.

The number of travelers on Saturday could break records, with an estimated 199,000 passengers coming through the airport that day.

“The flights were wide open, so we got lucky. Yesterday and the next day they were filled but they were wide open today and we’re happy to go home, but we had a great time in Colorado,” said Wade Clawson, who came into town this past week to ski in Vail and Breckenridge.

DIA has added new features to help people get to their gates faster, including bag drops in two of the economy parking lots among other things.

However, people are advised to come early, not only because of the crowds, but also because of the airport's construction.  

For people with a little extra time on their hands, the DIA ice rink just opened up Friday and will stay there until Jan. 6.

The ice rink is free to use with free skate rentals. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. On Fridays, free hot chocolate and cider is available in the afternoons.

The ice rink is located on the south side of the airport, under the Westin Hotel.