More Than 76,000 Passengers Expected to Go Through TUS During Thanksgiving Week

More Travelers Are Returning to the Skies and Flying Through TUS 

More than 76,000 travelers are projected to go through Tucson International Airport (TUS) during Thanksgiving week this year, according to the Tucson Airport Authority (TAA). That is an increase of about 15% over the robust recovery of the same week of 2021 and approaching the number of passengers who traveled for the holiday in pre-pandemic 2019.

“The Tucson Airport Authority is prepared to welcome all passengers flying through TUS,” said TAA President and CEO Danette Bewley. “While we expect a considerable increase in the number of flyers compared to last year, we are committed to providing a safe and positive customer experience. We are grateful for a 12% increase in seats from our airline partners as it reflects the needs of our community and those who want to visit Tucson.”

Recovery of air travel at TUS is continuing to outpace the national average. AAA is forecasting air travel will increase 8% from last year during the five days surrounding the holiday.

Based on airline schedules and seat capacity, the TAA expects travel will be spread out over more days, including some passengers who have already begun their journeys and others who are planning to extend into the week after Thanksgiving.

As usual, the busiest single day is expected to be Sunday, November 27, when more than 12,500 passengers are expected. About 12,000 or more passengers are also expected on the next four busiest days, in order: Wednesday, November 23; Monday, November 28; and Tuesday, November 22. Those numbers are about 28% more than the 2022 daily average of 9,400 through October at TUS. The least busy day at TUS will be Thanksgiving Day when about 7,000 passengers are expected.

TUS Travel Tips 

The TAA offers some travel trips for those who have not traveled through TUS recently:

  • About 70% of airline passengers travel once a year or less, which means they may not be familiar with TSA screening processes and other changes that have been implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you are an experienced traveler, it is wise to give yourself some extra time at the airport.
  • Expect a full flight, even on slower travel days, like Thanksgiving Day. Airlines have scheduled fewer flights on slower travel days, so the flights that are operating will still be full.
  • If you are still contemplating traveling for the holiday, check TUS first. Tucson is a favorite destination this time of the year, so while flights to TUS have sold quickly – including some that have sold out – there are available seats to go elsewhere, if only for a quick trip.
  • Expect fares to be higher than you may have experienced in previous years. Like other businesses, airlines are coping with inflationary pressures and higher workforce costs. However, if you are a person who can react to a last-minute travel deal, keep a close eye on airfares. There may be some last-minute fare reductions on a limited number of flights.
  • Will your ID fly?  Be advised that this is the last Thanksgiving airline passengers will be able to fly without a Real ID. On May 3, 2023, all travelers will need a Real ID, such as an Arizona Travel ID or a passport, to go through TSA security. If you do not have one yet, you have less than six months to do so. Don’t be left behind. Make sure to get your Real ID. More info is on the website: