KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — It will be a busy couple of days for airports across the country, with Thanksgiving now just days away. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects travel may be very close to pre-pandemic levels this holiday.

“I’m sure tomorrow it’s probably going to get crazy and then Wednesday is just going to be madness. And we just didn’t want to deal with any of that,” said Talisha Sampson.

That’s why Sampson says she flew from California to Knoxville on Monday.

“Here locally at McGhee Tyson airport we are expecting this Wednesday and then the Sunday after Thanksgiving to be the busiest travel days here at the airport,” airport spokesperson Caitlin Darras said.

If flying is part of your plan this week, Darras says it’s important to show up early.

“We highly recommend getting here at least two hours. That will give you plenty of time to find a parking spot, because we are in the middle of a parking garage reconstruction project. So you can find a parking spot. You can check in for your airline and then make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to get through the TSA security checkpoint,” she said.

Especially this year, they are anticipating more people wanting to visit loved ones for the holidays. It’s what brought Sampson to town after skipping a trip last year.

“I haven’t been here in two years now, so it’s nice. Everything looks nice and it’s exciting,” Sampson said.

Another reminder – McGhee Tyson is under a mask mandate. You will need a mask inside the building and on your flight. You can find other resources, including a parking lot capacity tool, on McGhee Tyson’s website.

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