Full parking lots expected during Thanksgiving travel season


(NewsNation) — Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest travel times of the year and the roads will be even more crowded than usual Wednesday, as AAA predicts about 55 million people will be traveling — more than this time last year.

And patience might not only be required on the roads. This holiday season, patience will also be a virtue in parking lots, given that airport parking has become increasingly difficult to find.

“We anticipate the holidays will be busier than in 2021, just based on our current passenger activity throughout this year and the ongoing recovery of air travel from the pandemic,” Jeff Lea, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s manager of strategic communications, told The Points Guy, adding that even “before the holidays, we have experienced days of strong parking demand at all MSP parking ramps.”

From Washington and Texas to New York, finding a parking spot can be difficult — or even impossible.

“Parking garages are filling up very fast. We don’t have the capacity for all the travelers we are expecting,” Indira Almeida-Pardillo, an employee at the Miami International Airport, told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Tuesday.

NewsNation visited Miami International, where the parking garages can get crowded, to see how long it takes to get a spot or if one would even be available just a couple of days before the Thanksgiving travel rush.

A spot wasn’t found until several laps around the garage were made. Miami wasn’t as bad as Seattle, however, where pre-booked parking have already sold out.

Even still, some passengers prefer parking themselves for convenience.

“There are days that it is hard to find space. So you have to go around and to the other side,” one traveler said. 

“[I] always park because I can always find my way back. That is why,” another traveler said. 

Still, now might be the time to consider Uber or a taxi because parking spots are harder to find and more expensive, too — some lots charge upwards of $30 a day.

“It was kind of expensive but there are a lot of people traveling right now,” said one traveler.

Conditions have made Uber, Lyft or taxis — or asking a friend for a ride — the best available option for many. 

Once at the airport, the good news is that most airlines say the staffing issues they dealt with over the summer that caused so many delays have been resolved.

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