Thanksgiving travel: No turbulence, speed bumps seenby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Holiday travelers should find it smooth going out at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport and on the state's highways.
Travel volume on the highways this year are expected to be about the same as last year. AAA and economic analysts at IHS Global Insight say that they expect driving nationwide to be up about a half-percent, tempered by high gas prices. They also say they expect air travel to decline slightly this holiday season, for the second straight year.
There aren't any new security procedures or major construction projects at Minnesota's main airport this year, and spokeswoman Amanda Greene Guentzel says fliers should expect no unusual delays today.
"It's actually going really smoothly. Right now if you were to look at the checkpoints, there's not much of a line at the majority of them. So that's good," she said.
As of Wednesday morning, the parking lots at the Minneapolis St. Paul International airport are only about one-third full, at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
Travelers flying out of the Twin Cities this busy holiday weekend are encouraged to arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic flights depart and three hours before international flights leave.
Official officials say that should allow ample time for check-in and security screening. At Terminal 2 -- the Humphrey Terminal-- security lines have been particularly long during the early morning and late afternoon hours, due to construction and high passenger traffic.
Guentzel said folks not checking bags should head to a security checkpoint designed to meet their needs. "If you're not checking any luggage, we do encourage people to use checkpoint 10. It's kind of the hidden gem of the checkpoints at MSP airport. Checkpoint 10 is located midway on the CG concourse connector bridge," she said.
Airport officials are reminding folks who don't travel much to be especially aware of the Transportation Security Administration's rules for liquids taken abroad planes.
You can only have 3-ounce bottles or less for all liquids, gels and aerosols. Those three-ounce bottles need to be placed in a one-quart clear plastic zip-top bag. And each passenger is only allowed one of those quart-size bags.
The plastic bags need be outside of carry-on bags and available for inspection. Passengers are also advised to print boarding passes at home.
(MPR News reporter Martin Moylan contributed to this report.)