Thanksgiving Travel Tips

November 20, 2015

Press Releases

Friday, November 20th marks the beginning of the busy Thanksgiving Day holiday travel season for Northeast Ohioans as they head to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). 

Nationally, travel on the 25th is considered to be one of the busiest travel days of the year and airline industry experts are predicting November 29th and November 30th to be just as busy as travelers make their way back home. CLE passenger traffic will increase on Friday and will remain steady throughout the weekend and begin to increase again on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. 

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 2 hours before scheduled departures to allow time for inclement weather, traffic, parking, checking-in and going through the checkpoints. 

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
  • The latest construction information


The airport is in the middle of our Terminal Façade Project and Parking Canopy Project. Please read the latest information on our website so you’re prepared when you arrive.

Follow CLE on Twitter at @GoingPlacesCLE and on Facebook at for parking updates and the latest construction work.

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

Travelers have three separate on-site parking options, including:

  • CLE Curbside Valet, $25 per day, located on the lower roadway in the far left lane.
  • The Smart Parking Garage, $18 per day, or $14 per day after 3 days.
  • The Orange Lot, $12 per day.
  • The Brown Lot, $8 per day.
  • The Red and Blue Lots are CLOSED for construction.

Picking up friends and family at the airport?  Don’t circle the airport waiting for the call they have arrived.  With construction taking up part of the roadway, idling will not be tolerated in an effort to keep traffic moving.  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 now 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) Web site at
  • Carry-on luggage is restricted to one bag and one personal item per person.  A personal item includes a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag.  Keep in mind that most airlines now charge at least $15 for the first bag for each passenger and more for additional bags.
  • 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 now 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.

TSA Pre✓™ has two available lanes at Checkpoint B.  TSA Pre✓™ passengers who use Checkpoint A or C must still wait in line but will be eligible for expedited screening.

 Not enrolled in TSA Pre✓™ yet? Sign up at their office located on Baggage Claim!

For more information on TSA Pre✓™ visit