Sky Harbor Anticipates Holiday Vehicle Traffic

By Al Macias
Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 12:04am

Nearly half a million people will pass through Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport over the next several days for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Weather may postpone or cancel some flights but airport officials say some of the biggest delays occur before the plane takes off and after it lands.

Automobile traffic on the ground is one of the biggest challenges for airport officials. All those hugs and goodbyes at the curb and last minute scrambles to unload luggage or pick up passengers with baggage cause backups outside the terminals. People tend to linger or want to wait for arrivals.

Deb Ostreicher with Sky Harbor says traffic officers will be making sure drivers keep moving if they aren’t picking up or dropping off.

"That area is for active loading and unloading and to please have people move on. We cannot have people waiting there, A) because it’s a federal regulation and B) because it doesn’t allow the rest of the people to come in as they need to to pick up their passengers," Ostreicher said.

Ostreicher says people picking up arriving passengers should check online or with the airline to make sure the plane has landed and then head for the airport.

She says most people can get to the airport from around the Valley within 20 to 30 minutes. And that’s enough time for passengers to get off the plane, get their luggage and make it to the curb and cut down on the waiting time and traffic.