Thanksgiving Travel Tips

TULSA, OK – November 18, 2020 – Thanksgiving travel begins next week and the airport is planning for an increase in passenger activity.  Passengers should arrive 90 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time – keeping in mind the checkpoint does not open until 3:45 AM. 

The Federal Aviation Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Transportation Security Administration, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have collaborated together to create recommendations for passengers that will be traveling this holiday season. Following these and other federal travel guidance will help ensure passengers can safely navigate all aspects of air travel. TUL has also implemented new safety guidelines and airport updates that are included below. Recommendations and updates include:

Before Leaving for the Airport: 

  • Before booking your trip, check for international travel advisories and destination-specific COVID-19 risk. Refer to individual state, territorial, tribal, and local government websites for domestic travel advisories and information about quarantine or other restrictions.
  • As a temporary exemption from the 3-1-1 rule, TSA is allowing one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. Since these containers exceed the standard allowance typically permitted through a checkpoint, they will need to be screened separately. This will add some time to your checkpoint screening experience. Please keep in mind that all other liquids, gels and aerosols brought to a checkpoint continue to be limited to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters carried in a one quart-size bag.
  • If your driver’s license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration or 60 days after the duration of the emergency, whichever is longer.
  • Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline by a year. The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021.
  • The Airport Exit off Westbound Highway 11 is closed due to construction. Passengers will now need to exit at Pine or Sheridan to access the Terminal building. Eastbound traffic can exit as normal.

At the Airport: 

  • Valet Parking Services at TUL have been temporarily suspended. Passengers still have two convenient parking options when traveling from TUL – garage, economy. Passengers can expedite their parking experience by signing up for TUL Parking Perks, that allows for ticketless entry and exit in the parking garage and economy lots. To learn more about parking services, visit
  • The City of Tulsa Mask Mandate is in effect at the airport. Once you arrive at the airport and exit your vehicle, start wearing your mask. This includes on shuttle buses, in the baggage claim areas, waiting areas, and any time you are outside your own vehicle on airport grounds.
  • When approaching the security checkpoint, passengers should have their government issued photo ID or passport available with their paper or electronic boarding pass.  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, portable DVD players or electronic items larger than a cell phone must be removed from suitcases and placed into a bin.  Passengers should place keys, cell phones, pagers, and loose change in their carry-on bags before getting in the security line.
  • 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.
  • Shops and restaurants are operating with limited staff and under limited hours of operation. Please visit to see what options are available while you are traveling.
  • The Airport Ambassador program has been temporarily suspended. The majority of our 178 volunteers are in the “high risk” group and will be invited to return once business returns to normal. If you have a question for the airport, please call 918-838-5000.

Aboard the Aircraft: 

  • Wear your mask aboard the aircraft, practice good sanitation, and maintain as much social distance as possible.  Be sure to pack extra masks for yourself and your party in your carry-on.
  • Visit your airline’s website prior to travel to see their policies and procedures.

Arrival at Your Destination:

  • State, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements upon arrival.

Returning Home:

  • When returning to TUL, if a third-party is providing transportation, advise your driver to use the cell phone parking lot or park in short-term parking located across from baggage claim on the third level of the parking garage. Parking and waiting at the curb for passengers to arrive will no longer be permitted. Vehicles parked at the curb must be in the process of active loading or unloading of baggage and picking up or dropping off passengers.
  • You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. Regardless of where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take action to protect others from getting sick after you return.