Thankful for our travelers: AUS wants to help you have a smooth trip this holiday season

The 2023 estimated traveler volumes are in! With around one million more travelers coming through AUS this year than last year, for a record-breaking 22 million total passengers predicted for this year, AUS encourages passengers to be prepared for the busy Thanksgiving travel stretch between Friday, November 17, and Monday, November 27. The recipe for an easy airport experience includes these simple ingredients: planning ahead, arriving early, and following airport travel tips!

Text reads: AUS Travel Tips. Map background with colorful watercolor markings.

What do we mean by arriving early?

  • For those using general TSA screening, arrive least 2.5 hours before departure for domestic flights and at least 3 hours before departure for international flights.
  • If you have TSA Pre-Check, Clear, and aren’t checking bags, we recommend following TSA’s general rule of thumb for all airport travelers across the country regardless of which airport they’re departing from: Arrive 2 hours prior to your departure.

Should I be dropped off or park at AUS?

Whatever choice you go with, AUS has tactics that make it easy.

  • If you want to park your vehicle at AUS, it is highly recommended to check real-time parking availability with ABIA Parking before coming to AUS. Trust us when we say, spots fill up fast during this time of year and reserved parking is already filled up for Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving!
  • If you want to get dropped off, no problem! Just remember if you see a long line of cars heading to “Departures” as you approach the airport, veer left and go to “Arrivals” for a quicker drop-off; once dropped off, just head upstairs to go to your airline ticket counter and security screening.

What do I need to know about packing?

Well, to make TSA and the people in line behind you proud:

  • Do not bring a firearm with you to the checkpoint, under no circumstances are firearms allowed at the security checkpoints. Keep them away from the area and use the TSA’s guidelines on how to pack firearms properly.
  • Before leaving the house, check if what you packed adheres to the TSA rules and guidelines for all types of luggage. If you were to have prohibited items, you could delay not only yourself but also other passengers.

What if I get hangry?

  • You're in luck! Our airport is proud to offer a variety of unique restaurant experiences to satisfy whatever you’re craving. You are sure to get a taste of Austin with more than 30 local brands represented in the terminal. Check out the food options or other in-terminal experiences at AUS in one click!
  • You can also bring solid, non-liquid food with you in your checked luggage! You just can’t bring any food that isn’t a solid – AKA if you can smear it, spread it, spray it or pour it, it’s not allowed. So your avocado is just fine but please, (and this is the only time we would ever say this) do not bring guacamole!

Great! I arrived early and now I have time to kill!

  • THANK YOU for arriving early! We’ve got plenty to do and see while you wait for your flight and reap the benefits of not missing your flight or being the very last to board.
  • We offer live music every Monday through Fridays (except Tuesdays! Our music team needs a much-needed break during the week!) across our 8 different live music stages. Our teams & fave local musicians will be taking a well-deserved holiday break on  November 23 & 24. Visit our website to check the line-ups.
  • Check out our art collection! We are home to permanent art installations, like the viral Interimaginary Departures gate, and eight rotating art galleries + spaces. Find them all on our digital map.

Lastly, remember that we are all human. Peak travel periods tend to bring on stress. So, we ask that you show kindness to all AUS employees and people around you. As always, AUS will be scheduling additional Department of Aviation staff during this busy period to help in the terminal with line management, TSA support, and passenger navigation. Our goal is to provide a safe and comfortable experience at the airport for everyone. If you have a question, feel free to ask an airport employee.