Best tips for holiday travelers

Posted at 2:03 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 17:22:19-05

Millions of people are expected to hit the road or take to the air in the coming days ahead of Thanksgiving.

According to TSA, 2018 is expected to be the produce the busiest holiday travel season on record with more than 25 million people expected to travel.

Below are some tips from Detroit Metro Airport for those traveling during the holidays.


NEVER leave your vehicle on the arrivals or departures curb unattended.  Unattended vehicles will be ticketed and towed. 

The curb fronts at both terminals are reserved for active loading and unloading ONLY and can become extremely congested during peak times. Airport Police will be doing their best to move motorists along to prevent traffic backups. Take advantage of the airport’s short-term parking at both terminals – $4 for 30 minutes or less, and $6 for up to an hour.

Pre-arrange a meeting location with the traveler you are picking up. In addition to short term parking lots, two complimentary cell phone lots are available at the north and south ends of the airport. Please visit the following link for a map:

Know your airline and/or terminal before arriving at the airport. Detroit Metro Airport has two terminals: the McNamara Terminal and the North Terminal. Delta Air Lines, Aeromexico and Air France operate from the McNamara Terminal along with their SkyTeam alliance and code share partners. All other airlines, including charters, operate from the North Terminal. For airline contact information visit:

Arrive early! Everything is easier when you’re not rushing. During the holidays, the airport welcomes a higher percentage of infrequent travelers who may need extra time. It is important to arrive early to avoid the stress of rushing to your flight. As a general rule of thumb, the airport recommends arriving two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Allowing extra time will enable you to park, check baggage, proceed through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening and reach your departure gate.

Don’t wrap gifts before traveling. Packages that are wrapped may need to be opened by TSA, causing disappointment and delays at the screening checkpoints.

Check your bags for prohibited items BEFORE arriving at the airport. Attempting to proceed through TSA screening with prohibited items in your bag will delay the screening process for you and other passengers. To find out what is considered a prohibited item, visit, and remember prohibited items are more than just weapons. All liquids and gels over 3.4 ounces are prohibited in carry-on baggage. 

Arrange for assistance in advance. The Airport Authority and its partners are committed to providing a welcoming and convenient travel experience for all passengers. Travelers who may require additional assistance should advise their airline or TSA ahead of time. More information can be found at or by calling TSA Cares: 855-787-2227. 

Expedited screening programs are available. The Airport Authority encourages travelers concerned about the possibility of longer TSA or Customs screening lines to sign up for a trusted traveler program offered by TSA or U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The company, CLEAR, also has a program that saves travelers time.