Travel forecast: Reno, Tahoe airports report clear flying for Thanksgiving |

Travel forecast: Reno, Tahoe airports report clear flying for Thanksgiving

There is one tradition airport authorities and impatient passengers nationwide could do without during the holidays.

That is the tradition of everyone traveling for Thanksgiving, making it the busiest travel day of the year. More than 125,000 travelers are expected to pass through Reno International Airport between today and Sunday, the Washoe County Airport Authority reported.

“What makes Thanksgiving busy is it’s a typical holiday. It always falls on Thursday,” authority spokesman Adam Mayberry said. This means Americans can extend their travel plans into a longer-than-usual weekend.

Travelers are urged to arrive early, at least an hour before flight takeoff.

Motorists circling the airport may find limited parking spaces. Those using short- and long-term parking may be directed to another lot next to the airport’s parking structure, so it’s wise to arrive even earlier.

Short-term parking fees are $1 for the first 30 minutes, while long-term fees run $2 for the first hour. The daily rate for valet parking is $14 a day.

Airline passengers also tend to bring more people to the airport during the holidays, waiting for loved ones to come in.

“The bottom line is, the load factor is high,” Mayberry said.

Call the airline prior to departure to ensure the flights are on time, the airport authority warned. Stormy weather like that in Buffalo, N.Y., may cause delays across the United States.

Once at the airport, travelers need to have photo identification ready and it’s also advisable to check in with the curbside Skycap service whenever possible and limit carry-on baggage.

Airports are not the only passengers being impinged upon. Shuttle bus, limo and taxi services are also expected to be filled.

“We’re expecting a tremendous Thanksgiving,” Frontier Tours owner David Lippincott said, declining to give specific numbers of Tahoe Casino Express bookings.

The shuttle service, which operates without reservations, runs a full schedule to and from the Reno airport to the Stateline casinos every hour. The first departure from the Lakeside Inn and Casino is at 4 a.m., and the last trip of the day leaves Caesars Tahoe at 10:30 p.m.

Allegiant Air, out of the Lake Tahoe Airport, reports a relatively light schedule, said Mark Peterson, a spokesman.

With no previous years of service for comparison, Peterson describes Wednesday and Sunday’s bookings as “so-so,” and Friday’s as “light.” The airline flies in and out of Tahoe, Las Vegas and Long Beach.

Allegiant Air also flies into the Reno airport, along with American, Southwest, America West, Delta, Alaska, Continental, United and Northwest airlines.

To make matters more hectic over the holidays, the last two carriers are grappling with flight delays they blame on disgruntled mechanics, the Associated Press reported.

On the upside, passengers flying in and out of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas during the busy holiday season may encounter fewer delays because of new technology.

McCarran is the only airport in the nation to link its flight information display system with its gate management system.

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