Beat the Holiday Rush: PSP’s Insider Advice for Effortless Thanksgiving Travel


Palm Springs, CA — With Thanksgiving around the corner, Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) is committed to ensuring travelers have a seamless and stress-free experience during the bustling holiday period.

PSP officials project an estimated 35,000 passengers will depart from the airport between Tuesday and Sunday during Thanksgiving week. The busiest days are expected to be Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after, with about 7,000 travelers expected to fly out on each of these peak days.

Arrive Early: For passengers with checked luggage, PSP strongly advises arriving at the airport at least 2 hours before departure. Those traveling with carry-on bags only should aim to arrive 90 minutes before departure.

The busiest time of day at PSP will be from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., when nearly 3,000 people are expected to pass through the security checkpoint. Wait times of up to 30 minutes are expected during this peak period.

Parking: We expect high demand for parking and as the holiday approaches, options may become limited. Spots in the main parking lot in front of the terminal are $20 per day. The overflow shuttle lot located on Kirk Douglas Way is $18 per day. It is only available to travelers parking overnight and paying with a credit card.

The overflow lot will be open for parking starting at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 17 and will remain open for parking until the last departure on Thanksgiving Day. Shuttle service to/from the terminal will operate from 4:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. through Thanksgiving Day. Starting Friday, Nov. 24, shuttle service for returning travelers will operate from 8:30 a.m. until the last arrival each day through Tuesday, Nov. 28. Signs along airport roadways will direct travelers to the overflow lot.

Exploring alternative transportation to the airport can streamline holiday travel. Passengers can take ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft, taxis, or SunLine bus routes.

Up-to-date information on parking status and a map of airport parking lots can be found at

Concessions: Palm Springs International Airport is currently undergoing a comprehensive concessions refresh, and ongoing construction is affecting some food and retail options. Travelers are kindly requested to bear with temporary inconveniences as PSP elevates its airport experience.

During peak travel times, PSP foresees restaurants reaching full capacity. Passengers are advised to plan ahead for dining at the airport. Additionally, grab-and-go food choices will be readily accessible for convenience, including the Half Moon Empanada Stand located in the open-air courtyard post-security.

Click here to see what concessions options are currently available.

To facilitate a smooth journey, PSP advises passengers to take advantage of the following tips:

  • Stay Informed: Check for real-time updates on parking availability, security wait times and essential travel information.
  • Optimize Check-In: Download your airline’s app and complete check-in before arriving at PSP. For travelers without checked luggage, this allows for skipping the ticket counter.
  • What Can I Bring?: Packing prohibited items will hold up the line and cause delays. Not sure what to check, carry-on, or leave at home? Use this tool to find out!
  • TSA Guidelines: TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule for carry-on liquids, gels, and aerosols allows each passenger to bring travel-size containers of 3.4 ounces or less, limited to one quart-size bag.
  • Flying with Holiday Fixings: Frozen stuffing and other Thanksgiving fixings can be packed in carry-on or checked luggage. Partially thawed frozen items must comply with TSA regulations for liquids and gels. Properly secure and seal these items to prevent leaks during travel.  

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