Holiday travel predictions break records; 1.7M expected to pass through McCarran Airport

Local News

Holiday travel predictions break records; 1.7 million expected to pass through McCarran International Airport

Millions started heading out of town Friday to celebrate the holiday season across the country, and in Las Vegas. 

Anyone who plans to hit the road or take to the skies should allow for some extra time and pack a lot of patience.  The holiday season is always tricky when it comes to travel, but AAA said 2018 could be our country’s busiest travel season yet. 

“Frankly I wasn’t expecting as many cars as we had seen,” road traveler Hannah Barthelmess said. 

“There are a lot of dogs, a lot of babies,” air traveler Kate Bushelon added. “So just be patient.” 

AAA officials expect 112 million Americans to head out of town for the holidays this year. That’s more than a third of our country’s population and the highest number ever recorded. 

“This is when we are all going to see our loved ones,” McCarran International Airport spokesperson Christine Crews said. “So we see a lot more locals coming through here than any other times of the year.”

1.7 million people should pass through McCarran International Airport from Dec. 21, 2018 through Jan. 2, 2019.  Crews said that means more wait time at terminals, parking garages and passenger pick up areas. 

“If you are coming down to McCarran give yourself the gift of time,” Crews said. “Arrive early; it may take you longer to find a parking spot.”

Before grabbing any Christmas gifts to head through airport security, make sure they are unwrapped. They are allowed, but if an alarm sounds TSA agents will have to rip them open.

“Should there be an issue where the package needs further inspection,” Crews said. “They may have to unwrap it.”

Another reminder, snow globes have liquid inside them, so they must follow the three ounces or less rule to qualify as an appropriate carry-on item. Otherwise, passengers will have to keep them in their checked baggage. 

“We were in New York the last couple of years,” road traveler Luke Barthelmess said. “Even compared to that, it’s New York crazy.”

“I heard a lot of people saying they had been delayed and might miss connecting flights,” Bushelon added about air travel. “But I’m okay, other than the delay it’s been okay.”

For more information on McCarran International Airport’s regulations go here. 

For more on holiday driving safety tips go here. 

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