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Charlotte Douglas International Airport about to see its busiest days Thanksgiving week

Airport officials are reminding everyone to plan ahead as we come up on the busiest travel days.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thanksgiving travel week is well underway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. From Thursday, November 17 to Monday, November 28, more than 822,000 passengers are expected to travel to, from and through the airport.

According to CLT Chief Infrastructure Officer, Jack Christine, that averages about 72,000 daily, when including passengers with connections at CLT.

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"From a local perspective, we can range anywhere between 24,000 to 28,000. That's a nice comfortable day," Christine told WCNC. "During peak times, that'll go into the 30s and some of the individual days that we see. And then over the next week or so, we'll have a number of those 30 to 35 [thousand]. Those peak days especially, you're going to be really, really pushing it."

Some travelers told WCNC, their experience getting to the ticket counter on Sunday morning, wasn't bad because they allowed themselves plenty of time.

Bryson Spell, whose basketball team is playing in a tournament in Cancun, Mexico, hit the road early out of Virginia.

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Spell said, "Just be prepared, I would say. We're really good at being prepared as a team. So I think that's why everything's been running so smooth."

Lauren Cobb and her family shared similar advice. 

She said, "Try not to fly the day before or the day after. Leave well advance to give yourself cushion time."

She said bad weather in Orlando, Florida is their big concern, as it might cancel their outgoing flight. She said they're prepared to drive in order to make their family vacation on a Disney cruise line.

There will be extra staff helping guide passengers through the new terminal lobby expansion area.

Christine said, "We will do a lot in the lobby to help move folks to the best checkpoints to get them through. What we ask customers to do is to listen to what we're saying. And if the line even looks long, but we're saying go to a specific checkpoint is, because we know what those wait times are. And we're trying to get you through as quickly as we possibly can."

If you plan to park at the airport, Christine said, the closer we get to the actual holiday, the less spaces the airport's going to have available.

For more information on parking, including making a reservation, or seeing what's left in real time, click here.

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