Nearly 60M Expected To Travel For Thanksgiving Holiday

Posted at 5:50 AM, Nov 22, 2017

Nearly 60 million Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving – the highest number in more than 10 years, according to AAA.

Nearly 40,000 Tennesseans are expected to fly to their destinations this year. The Nashville International Airport expects their highest volume of passengers on Wednesday and Sunday.

"With so many people relocating to Nashville, it's no surprise that many will travel home to see friends and family for the holidays," said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee Public Affairs Director, AAA The Auto Club Group. "This year, consumers will pay the cheapest average airfare since 2013 while Thanksgiving gas price averages are the highest since 2014."

BNA has an average of 19,000 departing passengers on a typical day. On Wednesday, that number is us expected to be around 21,000 passengers, and on Sunday about 23,000 are expected to be screened at security checkpoints.

The Nashville airport's single-day record is about 25,000 departures, which was set on June 12 following the conclusion of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and CMA Music Fest. 

Travelers should plan to arrive at the terminal at least two hours before departure time. 

AAA has provided a few tips for travelers:

  • Arrive early: Rushing only leads to more frustration and increases your chance of leaving something behind. The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority suggests arriving inside the terminal at least two hours before a scheduled flight. Travelers can check flight status and Security Checkpoint Wait Times at
  • Dress for Security Screenings: Passengers without TSA Pre-check will be asked to remove shoes, light jackets and headwear and to empty their pockets during screening. Laptops and liquids will need to be placed in a separate bin for screening. A full TSA checklist is available online
  • Travel Documents: Keep your passports, copies of confirmations, tickets for the trip and a copy of your travel insurance policy with you.
  • Entertainment and Snacks: Books, games, snacks and gum can go a long way to make a long trip enjoyable - for you and the kids. 

Reports stated one flight headed from Las Vegas to Nashville Wednesday had to make an emergency landing in Albuquerque. With 178 passengers on board, the safe landing was made due to an odor in the cockpit. The flight resumed on its path to Nashville on the same plane shortly after the landing.