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Charlotte airport gearing up for busy holiday season

An estimated 31 million Americans will fly the friendly skies this Thanksgiving. If you're among them, be ready for big crowds.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thanksgiving is still over a week away but business is already picking up at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where officials say there could be a record number of passengers traveling this holiday season. 

Experts are estimating over 31 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving this year, not to mention the millions of others who will take the highway to visit friends and family for the holidays. Each year, over 46 million people travel through Charlotte Douglas, making it one of the 10 busiest airports in the United States. 

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2019 could be the busiest travel season yet in the Queen City. 

"In years past, we've seen five-to-eight percent increases year over year on holidays," said one airport official. "Clearly, Thanksgiving is going to be busy. Regardless of what the increase is, it will be a very busy time."

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Airport officials say anyone who plans to fly for Thanksgiving should arrive early to get through security and be prepared for big crowds. Changes at the airport could cause confusion for people who don't frequently fly, too. 

A new area called The Plaza just opened in one of the busiest sections of the airport, full of shopping and dining options. Charlotte Douglas is also expected to break ground on lobby expansion in the next few weeks. 

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