By Jamie Leary

DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – According to AAA, airlines have made a near full recovery since the start of the pandemic and this holiday, those traveling by air should expect more people than ever before. On Wednesday, what was predicted to be one of the busiest days of the week, anxious families arrived hours early only to find minimal lines inside of the airport.

(credit: CBS)

“I think we got here way too early,” said Mike Schwartz.

The Schwartz family was pleasantly surprised by the scene inside the airport, however; parking did present its fair share of challenges.

“So far it has been very easy, the shuttle service was a little slow, like picking us up from the Pikes Peak lot,” he said.

Most of the lots closest to the airport were full or nearing capacity, but fortunately, it wasn’t a reflection of what travelers found inside of DEN.

“No issues I used RTD to get here, it was very convenient and it’s not that crowded,” said one traveler.

CBS4 caught up with another Denver resident headed out for the holiday who was getting his first glimpse of the security lines.

(credit: CBS)

“I expected them to be way longer than this actually, I was expecting it to be out the door, but this is good for people’s anxiety I guess to see that it’s organized,” he said.

TSA confirmed that staff would be place for all 30 screening lanes at security checkpoints- and Wednesday, that seemed to pay off.

“It’s better than I thought, and we have time to sit and an relax and maybe have a cocktail,”  said another traveler.

Airport officials warned that Sunday is expected to be another busy travel day and reminded travelers TSA screening checkpoint wait times can vary. Things are generally busiest early in the morning from about 5-10 a.m., and from 1-4 p.m.

On Wednesday, security lines started to pick up slightly after 4 p.m. but the longest anyone had to wait to make it through was between 15 and 20 minutes.

Those headed to the airport can always check not only security wait times but parking lot capacity as well at

AAA expects air traffic to nearly double from 2020 numbers, up 4.2 million compared to 2.3 million and at Denver International airport, more than 2 million travelers are expected to pass through between Friday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Nov. 30, an increase of 2.7% for the same period pre-pandemic in 2019.

Jamie Leary