NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Travel experts are already predicting the busiest Thanksgiving season at the airport on record.

This year’s holiday is also expected to last longer than normal, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Tuesday.

The lineups at LaGuardia Airport are still calm, but in just over a week it will be mobbed.

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The Transportation Security Administration is projecting this Thanksgiving will see 25 million travelers, 7 percent more people flying than last year.

“I try to get out before the rush. Saturday to Saturday so the Saturday before Thanksgiving,” traveler Barbara O’Hare said.

O’Hare is one of thousands who plan to start their holidays even sooner than usual, as early as Nov. 16, making the Thanksgiving rush last a full 10 days until Nov. 26.

“People are trying to get a jump-start, head start on the crowds, but actually it’s just as busy the Friday before Thanksgiving and the Monday before Thanksgiving,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said. “It starts to ramp up on Tuesday. Wednesday is huge, of course, the day before Thanksgiving. And Sunday, right after Thanksgiving, is probably one of the busiest days.

“More people, indeed, are traveling, so here at LaGuardia Airport we are going to see just tens of thousands more passengers coming through the checkpoint,” Farbstein added.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

But even though travelers are staggering their travel start dates, the TSA says each individual day at the airport is not going to be any less crazy.

As many as 50,000 people are expected to pass through LaGuardia daily. At John F. Kennedy Airport, that number doubles to 100,000 each day. And around 70,000 are predicted at Newark Liberty Airport’s security checkpoints.

“I tried traveling last year on the day and it was just packed and I thought traveling on the day would be easier. It was almost worse,” traveler Jo Holcomb said.

So to make the mayhem flow a little easier, the TSA’s advice is arrive early and be prepared.

And that means knowing what to pack.

Turkey and stuffing are allowed in carry-on bags. So are pies and cakes, because they’re considered solids.

But no gravy or mashed potatoes because they’re considered a liquid.

“So a popular Thanksgiving dish is yams. If it’s wet and already made liquid it has to go in checked baggage. If it’s not made yet, dry yams that can go in carry-on baggage,” said the TSA’s Shatimah Brathwaite.

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If you’re still not sure what you can or can’t bring on board, there’s an app for that. All you need to do is download My TSA, type in your question and you’ll get an answer.

For example, travelers cannot bring sparklers on board, but can bring knitting needles.

All of those travelers will stagger en route to their destination, but the madness happens when they all come back on the same two days, Sunday and Monday.

The TSA says you can bring wrapped gifts on board, but it’s not recommended. Why not? Because if it sets off an x-ray machine officials will have to unwrap it to find out what’s inside.

Comments (10)
  1. Why do we screen people who fly, either domestically or internationally? I’m sure that they are good people. Just let them go out or come in without these nazi tactics.

  2. Idiots,…..for one stupid day to eat turkey……visit your family any other times of the year – maybe it will have more meaning!

  3. All of the negative comments on here about TSA is just that, negative. You are the type of idiots who feel it’s your right to bring guns and bombs on planes and no one should say anything to you about it. TSA has a thankless job and I for one appreciate everything they do to help make sure that lunatic like all of you don’t bring guns or knives on planes.

  4. Mark Mach says:

    How long will we continue to pour billions of dollar down the drain while searching for pocket combs and AAA batteries? The old way worked fine until some idiot tried to light a wet fuse to ignite his shoe that had just gone through a puddle of water. TSA is a waste of money and provides practically no more extra security than we had. Just like it’s parent HSA, just another DC bureaucracy.

  5. TSA is working hard to ensure YOU don’t get to DO ANYTHING you want to. Because Merkuh. They KNOW NOTHING about security and are the LOWEST OF THE LOW of crap hired to fill federal positions. Which WE pay for. The TSA and DHS are the dregs of the barrell. They’re the Donald Trump of bad policework.

  6. Mark Marchiafava says:

    Who, in their right mind, is STILL flying in today’s Amerikan “homeland?”
    WHY?
    What is WRONG with you people?

  7. Ron Bonner says:

    TSA, the most inept federal agency ever devised, will surely find a way to screw up Thanksgiving travel.

  8. Judy Isbrecht Albrecht says:

    So does this mean ALL the security lines will be open and the TSA will have dozens more screeners on hand or do they intend to still run security like a post office with only 2 lines open? The TSA is always telling passengers to be prepared and arrive early etc. but the TSA never seems to take its own advice.

  9. TSA is already gearing up to steal our candied yams.

  10. If Democrats win the House, Americans may have to curtail their travel plans expecting the Democrats to cause economic decline again.

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