DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texans are flocking to the airport, catching flights to holiday destinations across the country. Combine the big crowds with a travel alert from the US State Department, and it’s a good idea to allow for plenty of time.
Police and TSA officers were a presence inside and outside of the terminals at DFW Airport on Wednesday, but can be seen on any given day at the airport as well.
Long lines at security check points quickly moved forward, as travelers headed out for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Throughout the year travel is up, according to DFW Airport officials, and this holiday season is expected to be no exception.
Cynthia Vega, Media Relations Manager at DFW, says the best thing travelers can do is stay patient and be prepared.
“Get here with two hours to spare. That way, once you get here and get to that checkpoint, you’re not under pressure to get to your gate. Most people say that’s what’s most stressful of all,” Vega said.
Vega says it’s important to remember that many first time travelers and families are a part of the mix at the airport right now. Nearly two million people are expected to pass through DFW this Thanksgiving week, with the busiest day on Sunday.
The worldwide travel alert issued by the US State Department in the wake of terror attacks overseas means security is on the minds of many people right now.
Christine and Charles Nick Edwards traveled to Dallas to spend the holiday with their son. They left Connecticut Wednesday morning, flew out of La Guardia in New York, and were pleasantly surprised by the calm they met at DFW.
“You want to feel if you are going to travel, eyes are on everything,” said Christine.
The Edwards say a heavy police presence greeted them at La Guardia like they haven’t seen before.
“The police presence was overwhelming there,” said Charles Nick.
“There was a tank – almost like a tank for police. I was so surprised,” Christine said.
DFW Airport has a newly updated smart phone app that includes real-time parking availability updates, and guided directions to shopping and dining spots around each terminal.
The airport’s social media team also monitors Twitter 24/7 for the account @DFWAirport, answering questions, such as wait times at security check points.
The Edwards say the journey to get to family at the holidays is part of the experience, and this year, they felt secure.
“It’s very nice, very nice. This is the safest time to travel, because everything’s happened and there is a high alert,” said Charles Nick Edwards.
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