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Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport prepares for heavy influx of Thanksgiving travelers

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — With estimates of 25 million people crowding airports nationwide this holiday season, Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport is preparing for large numbers of passengers, especially the day before Thanksgiving.

Sky Harbor spokeswoman Heather Lissner said travelers should definitely give themselves extra time to navigate through airport operations during the holiday season.

“We recommend at least two hours before your flight departs, especially if you’re parking or checking bags,” she said. “If you’re traveling the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we recommend giving yourself even more time.”

The airport is expected to bring on more staff to deal with the Thanksgiving holiday rush. Lissner said for those picking up or dropping off passengers, it’s best to avoid the area outside the terminal.

“What we’re encouraging travelers to do is to pick up and drop off at the 44th Street (Sky Train) station,” she said.  “The station offers a free cell phone waiting lot, it offers early bag check on Southwest, United and American Airlines, and travelers can get on the Sky Train and, within a matter of minutes, be at the terminals.”

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