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Syracuse airport expecting busy week of air travel for the Thanksgiving holiday

By Eric Reinhardt (


Syracuse Hancock International Airport says Thanksgiving week is one of its busiest in any calendar year. The airport is encouraging air travelers to arrive two hours before their scheduled flight. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse Hancock International Airport says it is ready for “one of our busiest travel weeks of the year” for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Syracuse airport expects to have more than 32,000 people flying put of the airport this week leading up to Thanksgiving, bringing it back to 2019 travel levels.

That’s according to Jason Terreri, executive director of the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA) who addressed the media on Monday morning at the airport.

“It means we’re going to be very busy. We’re encouraging everyone to show up at the airport two hours early. That’s going to allow you to get through the checkpoint, find parking, and, if you’re interested, getting food or beverages from our concessions,” Terreri said.

Later in the day, the airport’s communications unit explained to CNYBJ in an email that the 32,588-seat estimate covers the period between last Thursday (11/18) and this Wednesday (11/24). A spokesman said Hancock won’t know how many of those seats were actually filled until roughly mid-December.

In a news release, SRAA said that nationwide, passenger levels have rebounded to between 7 percent and 18 percent below 2019 numbers, and the upward trend is expected to continue through the holiday season. The Syracuse airport had a record-breaking year in 2019, drawing the most traffic it had seen in three decades.

In his remarks at the morning media briefing, Terreri also noted that the airport’s concession areas are open earlier in the morning to accommodate those who have an early-morning flight.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is also open early as well, and Hancock has additional parking options “if we have to go into an overflow situation.”

The busiest times for our airport right now are going to be 4:30 [a.m.] in the morning to 6:30 a.m. That’s the first departure [window]. [Then] 10 a.m. to noon and then 3 p.m. to 6:30 [p.m.],” Terreri said.

He encourages air travelers to arrive early for their flight, check the TSA website on what is and isn’t allowed through the checkpoint, and to contact their airline with any additional questions.

The airport is “fully staffed,” and TSA has assured Hancock officials that the agency also has adequate staff.

“We’re projecting, probably at its worst, 30-minute waits at the checkpoint during the peak time, but that’s with all the lanes open,” Terreri said in response to a question from CNYBJ.





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