Cleveland prepares for busiest travel week in nearly 2 years


CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The upcoming Thanksgiving travel may be the busiest airports and roads have been since the start of the pandemic.

However you’re getting over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving, AAA, TSA, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are giving advice on how to get there safely and quickly.

The group came together to hold a holiday travel press conference Monday.


While travel nationwide was down last year, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects to screen about 20 million people over the holiday week, close to pre-pandemic levels.

Don’t forget your masks if you’re flying. Masks are required in all airports and all airplanes.

While you need to keep most liquids under 3 oz., hand sanitizer is the exception.

You can bring up to a 12 oz. container of hand sanitizer.

Airlines also recommend arriving at the airport 2 hours early for a domestic flight.

Lines will likely be long as many airports haven’t boosted staff at TSA checkpoints, restaurants, and shops.

TSA says they’re staffed for the demand at Cleveland checkpoints.

Also, many airlines haven’t had the same snack and beverage service they had before COVID, so plan accordingly.

Cleveland Hopkins is expecting the busiest week they’ve seen in 2 years.

“Our forecast is ahead of 2019 levels, which was a record year for us,” said Robert Kennedy, Director of Airports for the City of Cleveland.


AAA projects road travel will also be at pre-pandemic levels.

Gas prices haven’t dropped yet.

The national average is $3.40.

In Ohio, the statewide average is slightly lower at $3.22.

Oil prices are near $80 a barrel.

ODOT is planning some holiday-themed road signs on Ohio’s interstates.

They say there will still be plenty of orange barrels around with the most in the Akron area.

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