Over 1.9 Million Travelers Expected to Fly Through Houston’s Airports During the Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Season

As more passengers take to the skies, travel with ease by following helpful holiday travel recommendations 

November 15, 2021

HOUSTON (Nov. 16, 2021) – Houston Airports will welcome over 1.9 million passengers to George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby (HOU) airports during the busiest holiday travel season of the year - the 13-day Thanksgiving travel period. The number represents a 159% increase from the same period in 2020 and a -15% difference from pre COVID-19 pandemic levels in 2019.  

Hobby Airport will serve over half a million travelers starting the Thursday before Thanksgiving to the Tuesday after the holiday. Bush Airport is expected to serve approximately 1.4 million passengers during the same time. Houston Airports is asking passengers to plan ahead and prepare for the holiday travel rush, especially at IAH, as a major improvement is coming to the big airport. 

Construction has begun at Bush Airport’s Terminal E to make way for the new International Terminal, including the demolition of the Terminal D/E garage.  There are roadway construction projects that will impact traffic congestion, mainly during peak travel times. As we work to minimize the impact on the traveling public, we ask passengers and their families to follow these important recommendations to ease traffic delays and enhance the passenger airport experience: 

Arriving at the airport 

  • Due to the ongoing construction at IAH departing passengers and people picking up or dropping passengers should expect roadway delays. Please build in an extra hour to your arrival time so you can comfortably get to your gate on time. 
  • To reduce traffic congestion, family members or friends who are picking up passengers should wait at the cell phone lots until the arriving passenger is ready at curbside for pickup. Learn more about cellphone lots at Bush Airport here. Learn more about cellphone lots at Hobby Airport here. 
  • Plan ahead and reserve parking online for IAH and HOU. It’s the easiest way to guarantee a parking spot at the Terminal garages or ecopark locations. You can pre-book, adjust and even make valet reservations at fly2houston.com.  
  • Anticipate high parking volumes at the Terminal garages. Please allow extra time to find a parking space, and possibly navigate to another parking location if your first choice is full. We strongly recommend making a reservation online to ensure you have a parking space. 
  • Please wear a mask. The federal mask mandate is still in place. 

TSA Checkpoints 

  • Passengers can monitor TSA checkpoint wait times in real time. For Hobby Airport, click here and for Bush Airport, click here. 
  • Follow the 3-1-1 rule with regard to liquids in your carry-on bag. 
  • Visit the TSA’s website for a list of prohibited items and additional travel tips. 

Come Early and Relax a Little 

Houston Airports has plenty of amenities to help enhance the passenger experience before a  flight. Harmony in the Air is a live performing arts program featuring some of Houston’s best musical talent. Concessions are open, and passengers can enjoy shops and restaurants featuring local favorites and exciting brands. In addition, both Bush and Hobby airports have play areas for children to unwind while they wait for the flight. 

About FlySafe Houston 

FlySafe Houston is a safety program launched in June 2020 and includes new and enhanced safety measures at all terminals such facial comparison technology at select departing and immigration entry points, deep cleanings, safety shields, installment of additional hand sanitizer stations, increased frequency of air-filter replacements and digital menus and payment options. 

Houston Airports continues to perform enhanced cleanings at all high touch point areas at Bush and Hobby airports 

Passengers can also get airport updates by following the Houston Airports Twitter accounts @IAH and @HobbyAirport or Facebook profiles @BushAirport and @HobbyHou