CLE Offers Travel Tips Ahead of Thanksgiving Holiday

November 20, 2020

Press Releases

This week marks the beginning of the Thanksgiving Day holiday travel season for Northeast Ohioans as they head to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). The two busiest travel days of the holiday season are the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, exceeded by the Sunday after Thanksgiving (the busiest travel day of the year).  To help prepare travelers, CLE is offering the following tips:

Due to Covid-19, holiday travel will be different this year.  CLE expects 140,000 departing and arriving passengers from November 20th-30th. This is approximately 65% below the same period for 2019. Staff at CLE will be prepared during the heavy travel periods including customer service personnel, law enforcement personnel including Cleveland Police Airport Unit, Federal law enforcement agencies, and custodial and maintenance staff.  In accordance with the City of Cleveland Ordinance No. 556-2020, masks MUST be worn in the building. Each airline has different Covid-19 travel requirements, so please check their websites for their guidelines for flying.

Travel tips
Airport officials encourage travelers to arrive at least 2 hours before scheduled departures to allow time for inclement weather, traffic, parking, checking-in and going through the checkpoints. Lines may appear longer due to social distancing. 

CLE’s website is a one-stop shop for travelers needing up-to-the-minute travel information. 

  • Status of your flight
  • Airline contact information
  • Parking status updates

Follow CLE on Twitter at @GoingPlacesCLE and on Facebook at for any important travel updates.

Consider using your airline’s website to do advance check-in to print your boarding pass up to 24-hours before departure. 

Travelers have many parking options, including:

  • The Smart Parking Garage, $20 per day
  • The Red Lot, $18 per day
  • The Blue Lot, $16 per day
  • The Orange Lot, $15 per day

Picking up friends and family at the airport?  Don’t circle the airport waiting for the call they have arrived.  Park and wait in the CLE Cell Phone Lot located off State Road 237 South.  Follow the blue directional signs for easy parking.

RTA Redline to the airport

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) offers convenient service to and from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. RTA's Red Line provides regular service between CLE and downtown Cleveland via the Tower City Station. The trip takes less than 30 minutes, and trains depart from CLE every 15 minutes for the majority of the day.

For more information, visit the RTA web site at or call The RTAnswerline at 216-621-9500.

TSA travel tips

Always have a government-issue ID ready to present at the airline ticket counter and security checkpoint. Due to lower passenger throughput, North Checkpoint will only be opened during peak travel times. Central checkpoint will be open from 4 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. and South Checkpoint will be open from 4 a.m. to 7:25 p.m.

Be prepared for the screening process:

  • TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice. Passengers can expect that these containers larger than the standard allowance of 3.4 ounces of liquids permitted through a checkpoint will need to be screened separately, which will add some

time to their checkpoint screening experience. Please keep in mind that all other liquids, gels and aerosols brought to a checkpoint continue to be allowed at the limit of 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters carried in a one quart-size bag.

  • Be sure to look through your luggage to ensure no prohibited items are in the bag.
  • All CLE checkpoints have Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines for passenger screening.  Metal detectors and x-ray machines for carry-on items are also in place for passenger screening.
  • Remember the TSA 3-1-1 rule for carry-on items – Three ounces (3 oz.) per container, in a clear one-quart bag, one per passenger. 
  • Knives, scissors with pointed tips, pepper spray and other such items are prohibited as carry-on items.  For a comprehensive list of banned and permitted items, visit the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) website at
  • Carry-on luggage is typically restricted to one bag and one personal item per person.  A personal item includes a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag.  Keep in mind that all airlines have different policies, please check with your airline to make sure you know their policy.
  • Outer coats, jackets and other such outer garments must be removed and put through x-ray screening.
  • Children under the age of 12 will not have to remove their shoes before going through security.

TSA Pre✓™ is available at CLE.  TSA Pre✓™ allows select frequent flyers of participating airlines and members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler programs who are flying on participating airlines, to receive expedited screening benefits. Eligible participants use dedicated screening lanes for screening benefits which include leaving on shoes, light outerwear and belts, as well as leaving laptops and 3-1-1 compliant liquids in carry-on bags.

Central Checkpoint is exclusively a TSA Pre✓™ checkpoint.  During peak hours, South Checkpoint will have a TSA Pre✓™ available.  For more information on TSA Pre✓™ visit