Thanksgiving Travel Tips

From Sacramento International Airport 

Passenger traffic up 3 percent year-to-date; a little knowledge goes a long way in making travel enjoyable

SACRAMENTO, CA. — A busy travel season is approaching at Sacramento International Airport. The Thanksgiving travel season lasts from Friday, Nov. 21, until Monday, Dec. 1, with the heaviest days expected to be Friday, Nov. 21, Saturday, Nov. 22, Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 25-26, and Sunday, Nov. 30. Peak travel times every day are 5-7 a.m., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 9-11 p.m.

Based on year-to-date estimates, Sacramento International Airport expects passenger traffic to be about three percent higher than last year. Travelers can make the most of their experience by being prepared with information. Here are a few tips.


  • Arrive at least two hours in advance of your schedule departure.
  • Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so know your options. The Economy Lot ($10/day) is expected to fill to capacity before Thanksgiving. A great alternative is the Daily Lot ($12/day), which is just minutes from both terminals either by walking or taking a shuttle.
  • Check your airline website and the TSA website to see current regulations for carry-on items. For example: The TSA website states that creamy salad dressings and cranberry sauce are not allowed in carry-on luggage. Cakes and pies are OK, but they may be subject to screening.
  • Information on flight arrivals and departures, parking costs, terminal locations, dining and shopping options and more are available on the airport website at
  • Save time by printing your boarding pass at home or ask your airline to send it to your mobile device. There are also self-service boarding pass kiosks near the ticket counters and outside the TSA checkpoints.


  • Waiting at the curb is strictly prohibited. Avoid circling the terminal by using the free waiting area, also known at the cell phone lot. Located at Crossfield and Lindberg streets, it lets visitors park for free until their passenger calls to say they are ready to be picked up.
  • The doors at Terminal B are numbered and designated by airline name. Tell your passenger to pick a numbered door to stand by. Tip: Traffic is most heavy by doors 1 and 2. It may be easier to pick up passengers outside doors 3 or 4.
  • After a plane has landed it takes about 20 minutes for passengers to make their way to baggage claim.
  • Holiday entertainers will be performing in the baggage claim area of Terminal A from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and in Terminal B from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26 . They will perform in Terminal A from 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30.

Need more information before traveling? Contact Sacramento International Airport at

The Sacramento County Department of Airports is responsible for planning, developing, operating and maintaining the county’s four airports:

Sacramento International Airport, Executive Airport, Mather Airport and Franklin Field. The regional economic impact of the airport system is more than $4 billion annually. For more information, visit