The Fourth of July travel rush resulted in long lines and wait times at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Dallas Love Field (DAL) on Friday.
The skies and roads were especially busy Friday afternoon as travelers hit freeways and airports for vacation destinations.
Wait times for DFW security lines were more than an hour for part of Friday morning and early afternoon. Love Field lines were at least 30 minutes through security.
“We are expecting 1.4 million passengers for the weekend, and in fact, [Friday] is predicted to be our busiest day, with over 250,000 passengers expected to visit DFW,” communications specialist Francisco J. Rodriguez told The Dallas Express.
“Operations are running smoothly, but we do want to remind passengers to arrive at least two hours before their flight,” he added.
DFW reported 12 cancellations and 225 delays as of 3 p.m., flightaware.com reported. Love Field had no cancellations and 76 delayed flights.
“It’s definitely busy, but we have had no irregular operations,” Love Field communications manager Lauren Rounds told The Dallas Express. “We want to remind travelers to get to the airport as early as possible for their flights. They need to allow time for parking, checking bags, and getting through security.”
AAA Texas projected a record-setting number of Texans will be traveling for Independence Day. The auto club forecast that more than 3.2 million people from the Lone Star State will drive to their vacation destinations, a 3% increase from last year and 8% higher than 2019.
“Texans are booking bucket list trips in record numbers this Independence Day holiday weekend,” AAA Texas Vice President and General Manager Galen Grillo said in a news release.
AAA projected 392,000 Texans will fly to their destination, a 12% jump from last year and a record number for any year. The previous mark was 391,000 in 2019. Nationally, 4.17 million Americans will fly.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it was prepared for a “record” number of travelers, predicting it will screen about 17.7 million between Thursday and Wednesday, July 5.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske said the agency “is staffed and ready for the increasing travel volumes during this holiday travel period with the technologies and resources for improved security effectiveness, efficiency and passenger experience.”
Fort Worth-based American Airlines said it expects to fly nearly 3 million passengers from Friday through Tuesday, July 4. It added that Sunday, July 2, will be its busiest day.
“Passengers may save time by removing items from pockets and placing them in their carry-on bag, instead of putting items directly into bins at the conveyor belt,” the TSA added.
United Airlines blamed a shortage of federal air traffic controllers for delays at its Newark hub. The earlier delays led to fears about possible chaos this week and next.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took the airline’s side in a series of tweets.
“If you’re sitting on a tarmac at JFK, LaGuardia or Newark, you can thank politicians and special interests … for putting parochial interests ahead of the efficiency of our nation’s airspace,” he wrote.