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XNA advises early arrival traveling ahead of Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, airports will be at peak volume for travelers with an estimated 2.25 million travelers this week.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The airways and highways are at peak volume for travelers as Thanksgiving approaches and Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport (XNA) has a few tips and tricks for people traveling to see family and friends this week. 

An estimated 2.25 million people are expected to go through TSA this week which means longer lines and possible delays and officials with XNA in northwest Arkansas say travelers need to be prepared.

“Yeah definitely expect fact an uptick in passenger volume it looks like our numbers are the past couple of days have increased significantly and we expect more passengers flying,” said Alex English with XNA. 

While travel numbers are reaching pre-pandemic standards, there are still lingering concerns for those traveling, including the adding of restrictions and sometimes high tension brought on by COVID-19.

“I don’t feel any concerns at all. I feel like it’s safe as long as you give yourself time and you’re following the rules, there’s nothing wrong with traveling right now,” Cindy Ott said while waiting for her flight at XNA.

XNA officials agreed and say the best way to approach high travel volume is by giving yourself time and being informed about your flight information due to airline employees shortages and other pandemic effects taking a toll on traveling. 

“As far this week things have gone pretty smoothly with our airline's cancellations go it looks like today we don’t have any cancellations everything fun time, stop being sad you know it is the holiday season crazy week checks with your airline check with your APP on the day of your flight and I just make sure to monitor your flight status,” English said.

Those apps that English is referring to are free of charge on any App Store and most airlines have one.

Travelers here in northwest Arkansas aren’t so concerned, but rather ready to spend time together for the holidays.

“Just spending time with my family, and all my friends and just be able to be with them after this long period of time of being away,” said Abby Hammontre after her ride home from college.

If you’re traveling this weekend, it’s important to remember your face mask because all U.S. airports still require them to enter the building or board the plane.

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