Whatever the weather and the calendar might say, the unofficial end of summer is Labor Day. With the season winding down, plenty of folks are trying to (understandably) squeeze in one more getaway. If you're one of the lucky ones with a Labor Day vacay on the books, you may want to get to the airport even earlier than normal. Sure, that two-hour domestic flight buffer seems safe enough, but according to Travel + Leisure, you may want to get out there even earlier, because an estimated 16.1 million people will be flying alongside you for the holiday.
According to Airlines for America, a trade group for the travel industry, Wednesday, August 30, through Tuesday, September 5, are going to be packed with passengers this year. The estimated 16.1 million is a jump from last year's 15.4, so last-minute travelers are set to face a few hurdles on their way to their destinations. However, T+L notes that Wednesday and Sunday are going to be the lightest days and Friday and Saturday are set to be the most crowded, so plan accordingly.
"One of the only ways to alleviate stressful traveling is to give oneself enough time to go through long security lines without feeling panicked," Travel + Leisure notes.
In addition to the crowds, the TSA's new rules and regulations may slow things down, too. Food, reading material, and electronics will all have to go into separate bins through the X-ray machine and, of course, that whole no shoes, no belt, and nothing in your pockets rule still applies. If you arrive at the airport with time to spare, applying for TSA PreCheck could be a good idea. After enduring the crowds and chaos of Labor Day, there's no better motivation to snag the perks that come with the service.
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