Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Tips

(SANTA ANA) – Air travel during the Thanksgiving travel period from Friday, November 19, through Sunday, November 28, 2021, is expected to be a busy one. Passengers traveling through John Wayne Airport can expect to see increased passenger traffic and busier roadways.

“Thanksgiving is a perfect time to give thanks and celebrate with friends and family,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “Passengers are encouraged to review the Airport’s Healthy Travel practices and plan accordingly to avoid delays and enjoy stress-free holiday travel.”


  • Passengers are encouraged to arrive 90 minutes to two hours before scheduled departure times for domestic flights and three hours for international flights to find parking, check luggage, and go through security screening.


  • Curbside Valet Parking is available on the Departure (upper) Level curbside from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. On your return, call 949-252-6260 or 2-4018 from any White Courtesy phone for faster service.
  • Parking Structures A1, A2, B2, and C are located directly across from the Riley Terminal at a rate of $2/hour up to $20/day. Travelers can plan by checking real-time parking availability online here or by calling 949-252-5200. Vehicle access to Terminal Parking Structures is available from the Departure (upper) Level only.
  • Electric Vehicle (EV) parking spots are located on Level 1 inside Terminal Parking Structures A, B, and C, and on Level 2 in Parking Structure A. Charging stations can quickly be identified by the EV reflective signage and parking space surface markings.

Security Checkpoints

  • TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice. Learn more about the TSA “Stay Healthy, Stay Secure” campaign here.
  • Passengers wearing face coverings during the TSA screening process may be asked to adjust them to confirm identity.
  • Know the Transportation Security Administration’s 3-1-1 Liquids Rule for carry-on bags. Traveling with food tip: If you can spill it, spread it, pump it, or pour it, the TSA considers this item a liquid. View more TSA Thanksgiving travel tips here or a list of frequently asked TSA questions here.
  • Enroll in TSA Pre✓® to expedite screening and reduce touchpoints.
  • There are specific rules and exceptions for passengers traveling with infant care items. Visit TSA Tips for Traveling with Children for more information.

Passenger Pick-Up/Drop-Off

  • Temporarily park your car for free at the JWA Cell Phone Waiting Lot located south of Parking Structure C near the corner of MacArthur Blvd. and Campus Dr. The lot has 94 designated spaces, including 4 ADA, where visitors can wait until passengers are ready to be picked up.
  • Color-coded and numbered columns along the white curb on the Arrival (lower) Level roadway make meeting arriving passengers easy.

App-Based Rideshare Uber, Lyft, and Wingz

  • Arriving guests should be aware of ride app pick-up locations on the Departure (upper) Level in Parking Structures A2 and B2 directly across from the Riley Terminal and in Parking Structure C on Level 3 next to the Southwest ticketing area. Ride app drop-off locations are curbside on the Departure Level. More information is available here.

Healthy Travels

  • The Transportation Security Administration has extended the federal mask requirement for travelers across all U.S. transportation networks, including airports, through January 18, 2022. More information is available here.
  • Healthy Travels practices have been implemented throughout the Terminal following County and State guidelines to protect the health and safety of all guests. Visit for a list of FAQs or view the JWA Healthy Travels video.
  • Airlines servicing the Airport have procedures in place to enhance the health and safety of passengers. Please contact your airline for questions regarding health requirements to board the aircraft. See airlines serving JWA for airline contact information.

For more travel tips and additional information about John Wayne Airport, visit