Tips on how to skip crowds, get ahead of lines during holiday season at IAH

If you're headed to the airport this holiday season, plan for extra time finding parking and getting through security lines

HOUSTON – Thursday is one of the busiest days for the nation’s roads and airports.

With COVID in mind, everyone is trying to travel to destinations safely.

Airport officials said mornings and weekdays between 4 pm and 5 pm are the busiest.

Experts say arriving at the airport early is the best advice.

KPRC 2 Reporter Re’Chelle Turner and photojournalist Nick Lupo showed travelers how you can skip the crowds and get ahead of the long lines.

“Once we got on the property, it took us about seven minutes to get to Terminal A. The parking deck was almost full. It took us about 10 minutes to find a parking spot on Level 3,” reporter Re’Chelle Turner said.

Despite the Omicron variant and a rise in cases, TSA said more than 109 million people will board a plane or hit the road.

“Seems like it’s getting a little bit worse than it was before, but it doesn’t seem to stop people,” Mary Dacosta said.

“When it comes to checking in, now travelers have options. People can purchase plans from TSA Pre-Check or Clear.

TSA Pre-check can cost you around $85 for a five-year membership and it gives you expedited security.

CLEAR uses your eyes and fingertips rather than traditional IDs to verify your identity. It can cost around $180 for an annual membership.

When it comes to standing in the regular line, it’s FREE!

But which one gets you through the line the quickest? We set a timer and asked travelers.

“Hi, my name is Lori Samples. I just went through CLEAR and it took me eight minutes to get through security and CLEAR. Thank you.”

“Hey guys, my name is Michael Jordan, and it took me about three minutes to get through TSA PRE check.”

“Hey, this is Mary Dacosta, and it took me about 10 minutes to get through the regular security lines.”

TSA Pre-Check was the quickest way for guests to get through security lines at IAH, but many travelers say they’re just happy for the holidays.

“I’m excited,” one traveler said.

Airport officials say more than 3 million people will travel at IAH through Jan. 3.