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Traveling this holiday season? How to save time and money at the airport

If you're planning a trip, Houston airport officials suggest arriving early and packing your patience because Bush and Hobby are expected to be busy.

HOUSTON — AAA is predicting a whopping 48 million people nationwide will hit the road between Friday and next Sunday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Traffic is already starting to pile up in the Houston area, but don't think the roads will be the only thing congested in the coming days. Houston airports are expected to see nearly 2 million people travel through Bush and Hobby airports. 

In anticipation of holiday stress, live musicians are easing the nerves of passengers in terminals.  Therapy dogs, too. 

"We have plenty of concessions, restaurants and shops. We even have places for your little one to play around while they’re waiting for their flights," said Augusto Bernal, a spokesperson with the Houston Airports System

Tips on how to save time and money at the airports

Tip 1: ARRIVE EARLY

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said both Bush and Hobby will be fully staffed and typically your estimated wait time in the security line will be less than 30 minutes. But more people will be traveling this holiday season which means more luggage could be checked and more traffic around the airport. 

So if you're heading to the airports, specifically Bush, plan to arrive three hours before your flight. There is construction happening at Bush outside terminals C, D and E. Those terminals include United Airlines and international flights. The work will continue through the holidays. 

"We’re asking people to build in an extra hour to their usual arrival time," said Bernal. "So if you can, add an additional extra hour to your arrival time, that’s going to allow you to arrive to your gate comfortably and make your flight."

Tip 2: PAY FOR PARKING AHEAD OF TIME

Paying for parking ahead of time will guarantee you a spot and save you money.

"Go online. Reserve your spot," Bernal said. 

 At fly2houston.com, choose your airport, click on parking and scroll down to that money-saving coupon.

If you're picking up or dropping off, Bernal suggests the easiest route is to use the cellphone lots. Parking away from terminals will ease the congestion.

"It’s going to be a better experience for everybody," Bernal said. 

Remember masks are required in the airport and on the plane.

For more tips, text the word "FLIGHT" to 713-526-111. You'll also get a link to check if your flight is on time. 

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