CLEVELAND (WJW) – Ahead of the busy Thanksgiving travel rush, don’t forget to pack patience when flying out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, this time it’s not only flight delays that could slow you down.

The Smart garage, closest to the airport terminal, is down 250 parking spots due to ongoing construction.

“I was very fortunate when we got here the lower level was all showing red then all of a sudden there was one spot,” said flyer John Wagner.

An airport spokesperson said maintenance work that began in September is ongoing to extend the life of the parking structure. On any given day, the number of parking spots available could change.

“The parking garage has about 4,420 spaces in it total and we’re down about 250. Let’s say there still is plenty of spots within the garage,” said John Goersmeyer, Senior Media and Communications Specialist at Hopkins International Airport.

Goersmeyer said through the master plan project at the airport, a new parking facility will be built. Current maintenance work underway at the garage will extend its usefulness for at least 10 years.

Many travelers told FOX 8 they did not experience challenges finding parking. However, some are bracing for potential parking challenges as the Thanksgiving travel season begins.

“Stressful especially if you’re running late for a flight,” said traveler Elijah Ghramm.

Goersmeyer said 260,000 passengers are estimated to pass through Hopkins during the 10-day travel period. In 2021 during the same stretch the airport saw 235,000 passengers.

“Depending on the time of day it can really be a hassle. Just because they have so many spots taken up by construction stuff,” said a traveler.

As the holiday travel season begins, flyers are advised to arrive at least two hours before their flight takes off.

“We encourage people to go to our website, you can see on our website where available parking is and to plan accordingly,” said Goersmeyer.