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AVL will be stuffed like a turkey; arrive early

If you're flying over the Thanksgiving holiday, expect a big crowd and plan to arrive early.

The Asheville Regional Airport is reporting a high volume of scheduled passengers for the travel week — as much as a third more than last year. Airport officials urged all passengers to plan accordingly. Specifically, passengers scheduled to fly between Wednesday and Monday should arrive at the airport at least two hours before flight times to allow time to park, check-in, and go through security screening.

The busiest travel days during the holiday week will be Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The Monday following Thanksgiving will also be a busy day.

"We typically see about 2,500 to 2,800 passengers each day at the airport during the busiest holiday travel days," said Tina Kinsey, spokesperson for the airport. "This year, depending on the day, we are seeing a 16 to 35 percent increase in passengers compared to last year."

Figures from the airport show that scheduled passengers (outbound and inbound) will be up 27 percent Wedndesday, 30 percent Thanksgiving Day, 20 percent Friday, 16 percent Saturday and 35 percent Sunday.
The airport's new parking garage may be open for the holiday crush. It's not known yet. The airport will update the status of the parking garage on Monday. Regardless of the status of the garage, customer parking will be available. The airport plans to open additional lots, including an additional shuttled lot, if necessary.