Tucson International Airport Prepares for more than 210,000 Holiday Travelers

As airline passengers return to the skies, Tucson International Airport (TUS) is preparing to do its part to ensure the travel experience is as smooth as possible this holiday season.

Based on schedule capacity, TUS expects more than 210,000 passengers to go through the terminal from December 17 through January 2. That will be a 25% increase over the 167,000 passengers of 2021. This year, TUS anticipates the holidays will yield about 30% more passengers per day than what has been the average in 2022. TUS expects to see its busiest travel day of 2022 during the holiday period.

With both Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Sundays this year, travel is expected to be spread out over the holiday period, though December 24, 25, and 31 should have comparatively fewer travelers. Airlines serving Tucson are geared up to meet the demand with 24% more seat capacity December 15 through January 2.

The increased capacity this holiday season includes new flights on Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier Flair Airlines offering nonstop flights between TUS and Edmonton and Fort McMurray, Alberta; London and Windsor (Detroit), Ontario; and Prince George, British Columbia.

Additionally nonstop flights between Minneapolis-St. Paul and TUS return on both Delta and Sun Country airlines. Long-time airline partners Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest and United have added flights, too, many of which are on larger aircraft types. TUS provides nonstop flights to Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare and Midway, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston Intercontinental and Houston Hobby, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle.

“We appreciate that our airline partners are providing more opportunities for passengers to choose TUS,” said Tucson Airport Authority President and CEO Danette Bewley. “We have been working hard to promote the nonstop opportunities TUS brings to our region and we welcome the increased service and are committed to bringing in more flights.”

TUS Travel Tips

The TAA offers some travel trips for those who haven’t traveled and some that may even apply to those who have gone through TUS recently:

  • If you are still contemplating a trip for the holidays, don’t wait much longer to buy a ticket. Airline tickets are selling more rapidly than they did at Thanksgiving. With increased demand that means fares are higher, so if you see an air fare you find acceptable, take it.
  • Expect TSA screening could take longer than usual. About 70% of airline passengers travel once a year or less, which means they may not be familiar with the security process. Even if you are an experienced traveler, it is wise to give yourself some extra time at the airport.
  • Expect your flight to be full, even on slower travel days. Airlines have scheduled fewer flights on slower travel days so the flights that are operating will still be full. There may be fewer people in the airport terminal but not on your flight.