Thanksgiving travel rush means long lines, limited parking at Ho - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thanksgiving travel rush means long lines, limited parking at Honolulu Airport

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Stephen Outlaw-Spruell is one of the nearly 47 million Americans traveling this Thanksgiving weekend. 

He braves the crowd each year and knows too well the stresses it sometimes brings.

"Last time I was here they had lines out the door. The lines were of course crossing over the normal pathways so they had to split the lines off, send people in little groups over to the corded off area, it was pretty crazy," Outlaw-Spruell said.

"Crazy" is exactly why Debbie Damas dropped her daughter off almost two and a half hours early for her trip to San Diego on Wednesday afternoon.

"Everyone's traveling to get to their destination before the holiday tomorrow and I work at the airport so I know very well it's gonna be crowded," Damas said. 

Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, says longer lines aren't the only thing people need to plan ahead for.

"If people are planning to drive to the Honolulu International Airport, we certainly want to alert people that there are a limited number of parking stalls available. About 5,200 parking stalls available at this facility and if typically speaking, historically speaking, they do fill up on this weekend," Sakahara said.

That's 800 fewer stalls than normal as the state is using half of the Overseas Parking Structure for rental cars, while they build a permanent car rental facility.

Sakahara says typically the Inter-island Parking Structure, or Lot M, and the Overseas Parking Structure. or Lot D, will fill up first. He suggests allowing for additional walking time to the ticket lobbies or get dropped off. 

On top of the busiest travel day of the year, the U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert in the wake of the recent Paris attacks. Although U.S. officials have not indicated there are any credible threats, travelers should expect elevated security at the airport and are advised to be prepared for additional screenings.

Sakahara also wants to remind travelers public parking rates will go up at six Hawaii airports starting December 1.

Click here for information about parking rates going up at Hawaii airports.

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