With more than 2.3 million travelers expected, Houston Airports on track to exceed 2019 Thanksgiving holiday crowds

As more passengers take to the skies this holiday season, people should plan and prepare for their trip to the airport

November 15, 2022


HOUSTON – Houston Airports is preparing to welcome its largest holiday travel crowd since 2019. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) expect a combined 2.3 million travelers during the busiest holiday travel season of the year, a 3% increase from the same period in 2019 and a 9% increase from 2021.

The extended Thanksgiving holiday travel period begins on Thursday, Nov. 17 and ends Tuesday, Nov. 29. The top three single busiest days for air travel in Houston will be Sunday, Nov. 27 followed by Sunday, Nov. 20 and Wednesday, Nov. 23. 


During the 13-day period, Hobby Airport is forecasted to serve approximately 560,000 travelers while Bush Airport is expected to serve more than 1.7 million passengers.  

Houston Airports is urging holiday travelers to plan and prepare, because:  

  1. More people will be flying in and out of Houston  

  2. More people are predicted to be on Houston-area roads 

  3. Construction of a new international terminal continues at Bush Airport 

Just in time for Thanksgiving, CenterPoint Energy completed a major utility roadway project earlier this month, opening up North Terminal Rd. for airport visitors during this busy travel period. Travelers should know that the ongoing construction may impact travelers during peak travel times.

Those heading to Bush Airport are encouraged to follow these recommendations: 

  • Build in an extra hour to your airport arrival time so you can park, check in with your airline, complete the required TSA security screening and comfortably walk to your gate on time.  
  • Anticipate high parking volumes at terminal garages. Give yourself more time to find a parking space, and possibly navigate to another parking location if your first choice is full. 

  • Utilize the Subway and Skyway tram systems which connect all five terminals at Bush Airport.  

  • Passengers of Spirit Airlines and American Airlines should be picked up at Terminal A on South Terminal Road. All other passengers landing at Terminal A can be picked up along North Terminal Road. Signs indicate the proper pickup locations. 

Those heading to Bush Airport or Hobby Airport are encouraged to follow these recommendations: 

  • Reserve airport parking online to save money and guarantee a parking spot in a garage or ecopark lot

Prioritizing Public Health | Houston Airports is committed to maintaining enhanced safety measures. Additional hand sanitizer stations, increased frequency of air-filter replacements, digital menus and payment options and the use of deep-cleaning robots at high touch point areas continue at both airports. 

Come Early and Relax | Playgrounds, restaurants, shops, Interfaith chapels, Mother’s Rooms and pet relief stations are among the world-class amenities offered at both Houston Airports. Local artists are also now in residence at Bush and Hobby airports and live musical performances provide harmony for air travelers. 

Passengers can also get airport updates by following the Houston Airports Twitter accounts @IAH and @HobbyAirport or Facebook profiles @BushAirport and @HobbyHou