Thanksgiving Air Travel Trips

TULSA, OK – November 17, 2022 – With Thanksgiving just a week away, Tulsa International Airport (TUL) is expecting to see an influx of passengers over the next several days. This busy Thanksgiving season is following two of the busiest months on record for TUL. In September and October, Tulsa International Airport reached 107% of passenger numbers compared to the same months in 2019, which is the highest passenger volumes the airport has seen since 2007 in those months. This comes at a time when most airports in the region are still below their pre-pandemic passenger volumes. In response to the increased demand for air travel, airlines are offering 11% more seats out of Tulsa compared to November 2021.

For those flying for Thanksgiving, TUL is advising travelers to expect a busier than usual terminal starting Friday, November 18th through Monday, November 28th. Below are some travel tips and reminders.

Key reminders:

  • Passengers should arrive two hours prior to their scheduled departure time, keeping in mind the checkpoint does not open until 3:45 a.m.
  • When picking up or dropping off family and friends, remember that active loading and unloading is in place curbside. Drivers will not be allowed to park at the curb unless their passengers are outside with their luggage. Drivers can wait in the airport’s free cell phone lot while they wait for their party, or they can park in short-term parking on the top level of the garage if they want to greet them inside baggage claim.
  • The Department of Homeland Security extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to May 3, 2023. This means Oklahomans can continue to use their current driver license or Oklahoma identification card to fly domestically.

Before Leaving for the Airport:

  • Plan where you will park before leaving for the airport. Passengers have three convenient parking options when traveling from TUL – Garage, Economy and Valet. Passengers can expedite their parking experience by signing up for TUL Parking Perks. This parking rewards program allows for ticketless entry and exit in the parking garage and economy lots, and lets customers earn points for every dollar spent to redeem free parking. To learn more about parking services, visit
  • Travelers who have medical conditions or disabilities are encouraged to call the TSA Cares toll-free helpline in advance of their trip at 1-855-787-2227 to ask about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the checkpoint. It is recommended to call 72 hours in advance of the trip.

At the Airport:

  • When approaching the security checkpoint, passengers should have their government issued photo ID or passport available. Passengers should pay extra attention that their valid form of ID matches their name on their flight reservation exactly.
  • To expedite time through the security screening process, slip on shoes are recommended. Passengers not eligible for TSA’s Pre✓™ program should be prepared to remove shoes and jackets for screening. All laptops, tablets or electronic items larger than a cell phone must be removed from suitcases and placed into a bin.  Passengers should place keys, cell phones and loose change in their carry-on bags before getting in the security line.

Free Services and Assistance in the Terminal:

  • Passengers who may need extra assistance while traveling can utilize the airport’s Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard program. If requested, the airport will provide sunflower lanyards free of charge to passengers with hidden disabilities. Wearing the sunflower lanyard is a discrete way for a person with a disability to make staff throughout the terminal aware that they may need additional time, patience or assistance navigating the air travel experience. The program started in 2016 at London’s Gatwick Airport before expanding to more than two dozen airports, and TUL was among the first U.S. airports to join the program.
  • Airport Ambassadors will be available to answer any questions or concerns that travelers may have at the airport.
  • Welcome Waggin’ therapy dogs will be throughout the terminal greeting passengers.
  • Our Tunes at TUL live music program will have three performances during Thanksgiving week. All Tunes at TUL sets are performed at Gate A1. Schedule below:
    • November 22nd: 1:30PM-2:30PM: Charlie Redd
    • November 23rd: 8:00AM-9:00AM: Combsy Duo
    • November 28th: 10:30AM-11:30AM: Steve Liddell