Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Offers Travel Tips Ahead of Busy Thanksgiving Holiday

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Offers Travel Tips Ahead of Busy Thanksgiving Holiday

November 22, 2022

Press Releases

As we begin the busy Thanksgiving Day holiday travel season for Northeast Ohioans, we can expect an influx of travelers making their way 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).  

In 2020, COVID significantly impacted holiday travel. That year, CLE welcomed approximately 118,000 departing and arriving passengers during the 10-day Thanksgiving travel period. In 2021, as CLE continued to recover from COVID, we welcomed approximately 235,000 passengers. This year, we are expecting higher passenger loads for the Friday before until the Sunday after Thanksgiving. CLE is anticipated to welcome approximately 260,000 total travelers, which is an 11% increase from 2021.

Additional staff will be assigned during the heavy travel periods including law enforcement, such as the Cleveland Police Airport Unit and Federal law enforcement agencies, in addition to customer service, custodial and maintenance personnel.

 To help prepare travelers, CLE is offering the following tips:


Travel tips

Passengers should expect longer lines at the ticket counters and the three CLE Security Checkpoints. 

Airport officials encourage travelers to arrive at least two hours before scheduled departures to allow time for inclement weather, traffic, parking, checking-in and going through the checkpoints.

CLE’s new Ground Transportation Center located at the north end of Baggage Claim is your connection for all shuttles. The Center features covered and heated waiting areas for added convenience.

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

  • Status of your flight
  • Airline contact information
  • Parking status updates
  • Checkpoint wait times

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:

  • CLE Curbside Valet, $30 per day
  • The Smart Parking Garage, $20 per day
  • The Red Lot, $19 per day
  • The Blue Lot, $19 per day
  • The Orange Lot, $16 per day
  • The Brown Lot, $13 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.

Be prepared for the screening process:

  • Be sure to look through your luggage to ensure no prohibited items are in the bag.
  • All three 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