Thanksgiving Travel Tips

November 21, 2017

Events & Updates

This week marks the beginning of the busy Thanksgiving Day holiday travel season for Northeast Ohioans as they head to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). While passenger numbers are forecasted to increase over recent years, CLE will also experience a significant increase over the national average for the coming week. The busiest travel days are the Sunday after Thanksgiving followed in volume by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. CLE expects to welcome more than 260,000 passengers between November 18th and November 28th. 

Travel tips 

At CLE, additional staff will be assigned 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. 

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 
  • Security Checkpoint wait times 
  • 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: 

  • CLE Curbside Valet, $25 per day 
  • The Smart Parking Garage, $18 per day 
  • The Red Lot, $16 per day 
  • The Blue Lot, $14 per day 
  • The Orange Lot, $13 per day 
  • The Brown Lot, $9 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. To see if it’s available at South Checkpoint, check the Checkpoint Wait Times boards. 

For more information on TSA Pre✓™ visit 

About the City of Cleveland 

The City of Cleveland is committed to improving the quality of life for its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play, and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at, Twitter at @cityofcleveland or Facebook at