(CBS4) – The Thanksgiving holiday travel rush is already on full display. While millions are choosing to drive, a record number of people are taking to the skies. It’s expected that there could be up to 80 percent of travelers going through airports this year compared to last. It’s no different at Denver International Airport, where airport officials expect over 2 million people to travel through the airport between Friday, Nov. 19, and Tuesday, Nov. 30. This would be an increase of 2.7 percent for the same period pre-pandemic in 2019.

“People are just ready to travel again,” said Samantha Figueroa, DIA public information officer. “I think the vaccine has helped. A lot of people are vaccinated and just maybe even gotten their boosters and just ready to travel again.”

Long security lines have been an issue at DIA. Earlier this fall, security lines were so long they often wrapped around baggage claim and extended to the top level of the main concourse.

To help solve the issue, DIA has added two additional lanes at the north security checkpoint. The airport has also added one lane to the bridge, which leads to Concourse A. In all, there will be 30 screening lanes in place.

“We saw those longer wait times for, during the morning hours, and we knew that it was time to do something so we worked with TSA to make those changes,” Figueroa explained.

The airport also added security wait times to its website at flydenver.com. The idea is to let people know how much time they will need to plan ahead, so they can make it to their flight on time.

“Things are always changing, so we recommend that you check it before you leave or when you are on the way,” Figueroa said. “Just to make sure that you have a clear set expectation of how long you’re going to wait for security when you’re going to the airport.”

The airport will have three security checkpoints to help ease traffic. South security is open 24 hours a day. North security is open from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. And bridge security to Concourse A is open from 4:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.

As for parking, the Pikes Peak Shuttle lot will be open 24 hours a day until Jan. 6. Airport officials say, if you are taking the Pikes Peak Shuttle, give yourself an extra 45 minutes to get to the airport. If not, they recommend you arrive at the airport at least two hours before your boarding time.

Justin Adams