SAN ANTONIO — This holiday travel week will test airports and airlines because of labor shortages, vaccine mandates and a rise in the number travelers.
TSA officials say travel won't be impacted because of the federal vaccine mandate. The agency says 93% of its employees are in compliance with the federal executive order, and Monday was the deadline for employees to be in compliance.
However, TSA recommends that travelers be prepared for lines and get to the airport early. How early? At least two hours before your flight, if you are flying in the U.S.
TSA Spokesperson Patricia Mancha said to expect a lot of people.
"We can expect a little bit of chaos," she said. "We are expecting 20 million people to travel nationwide."
TSA expects airports to be packed at nearly pre-pandemic levels.
"So, people thought traveling last year, 'There is no line, I can get there 15 minutes before my flight and I am great.' That's not going to be the case this year," she said.
TSA is expecting at least 2 million people traveling on a daily basis during this Thanksgiving holiday week.
"We ask that people pack their patience," she said.
However, there is concern about the vaccine rule requiring federal employees to get the COVID-19 shot.
"I can tell you that TSA is prepared to meet the needs of the traveling public," Mancha said.
Thanksgiving is known for food, and if you are planning to bring food on the plane, Mancha has a reminder.
"If you can spill it, spread it, pour it, or pump it: 3.4 ounces," she said.
With the jump in travelers, TSA is prepared for unruly passengers. They train their officers and there are several layers of supervision. They just ask people to follow the rules.
They say anyone who fails to follow them can be prohibited from flying.
For more information on TSA travel, click here.