“TSA is expecting a very, very busy holiday travel season. We anticipate that we are going to see pre-pandemic levels. We’ll see those levels come pretty close to what we were doing back then (in 2019),” TSA Federal Security Director Chris Murgia said on Friday.
“It’s going to be insane,” Henderson said.
He explained that most people who stayed home during the pandemic are expected to travel this year, hence the high prices. However, since working remotely has become more of a norm, Henderson said the travel season has been extended.
“More people are going for a week as opposed to a long weekend for Thanksgiving. So there’s going to be less insanity the day before Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a little more spread out. So that’s one area of hope right now,” Henderson said.
McLemore warned that weather and snow could wreak havoc on travelers everywhere, whether it is road trippers or fliers.
“A lot of people don’t realize the bad weather in one part of the country can wreak havoc everywhere else. I definitely can see people getting stuck, I can see people getting delayed. But I think that if travelers practice safety first, and schedule second, they’ll be a lot better off for it,” McLemore said.
The best thing travelers can do for themselves is to have a backup plan and advocate for themselves, Henderson said.
In a weather emergency, airlines do not have to reimburse travelers because they see it as an “act of God,” Henderson explained. He advised travelers to be their own best advocate.
McLemore suggested that travelers utilize professional travel advisers, because that is someone else in their corner, and advisers check all the details.
“It’s their job, they’re professional planners, and they can really make sure that you have those backup options that we’re talking about,” she said.
Both Henderson and McLemore said that though the rental car shortage has come to an end, it’s still best to book vehicles in advance if you are expecting to need to drive.
Finally, McLemore offered one last bit of important advice: Work ahead. “Pack early, leave early and be at the airport early. Time has to be on your side, because there are just too many things that you don’t have control over.”