MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – If you're gearing up to head home to family for the holidays, airport officials and travel specialists are recommending travelers leave ample time to catch a flight and reach your destination.
Director of Air Service and Business Development for Myrtle Beach International Airport, Kirk Lovell, said it's always safe to get to the airport two hours before your flight is scheduled to leave. Check with the airline you are flying before you get to the airport to make sure your flight is leaving on time and make sure there aren't any delays.
Lovell said it's also important to check the TSA website to make sure you know what you can and can't take with you.
"Plan accordingly. Make sure you practice patience in the travel season because it's going to be busy," said Lovell.
Travel Specialist for AAA Insurance, Charles Monheim, said traveling Christmas Day may be a lighter travel day with some flights still available.
As flights start to book up, it is not expected the prices will go down, according to Monheim. He said most people book their flights in advance and travel before Christmas Day, so although you may not find cheaper flights, you may be able to experience fewer crowds and lines compared to just before the holidays.
According to Monheim, holiday travel is up this year for both flights and those traveling on the road and Thanksgiving was a perfect example of that. He said Christmas is the second busiest time to travel.
"General traffic with driving is actually heavy for the holidays and Christmas is no exception. The other situation is weather factors," said Monheim, "And when we try to route people, depending on where they're going, we'll route them based on the weather factor too and make sure they pay attention when they travel to other states, what's happening in those states."
TSA wait lines are going to start getting longer as we get closer to the holidays. Monheim recommends that if you don't have a pre-check on your ticket, to add an extra 30 to 45 minutes to the standard arrival time of two hours before your departure just to be sure you get to your gate on time.
If you're flying Spirit airlines and you buy your ticket at the airport it will be cheaper.
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