Passengers crowd baggage claim at Terminal 2. Photo courtesy San Diego International Airport.

Around 60,000 passengers are expected to pass through San Diego’s Lindbergh Field daily during the upcoming holiday weekend, so travelers are being encouraged to arrive earlier than normal beginning Tuesday.

The passenger volume projected by airport officials is 20 percent above the level of a normal travel period. They recommended that travelers get to the airport 90 minutes before a domestic flight and 2 1/2 hours before an international trip.

San Diegans going to the airport to meet arriving family members are asked to wait in the free cell phone lot located off North Harbor Drive in order to reduce congestion in front of the terminals. Once cell phone contact is made between the driver and incoming passenger, the motorist can drive over to the terminal, airport officials said.

Travelers are also encouraged to check their parking options ahead of time at On the website, reservations can be made for valet parking and at the long-term lots off North Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway.

A parking structure is under construction in front of Terminal 2. Drivers looking for short-term parking at Terminal 2 will find limited spaces off North Harbor Drive and McCain Road, according to the airport.

For those planning to travel by car, San Diego freeways could be crowded. According to the Automobile Club of Southern California, San Diego will be the second-most popular destination for drivers in the lower half of the state.

Statewide, 6.26 million are projected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, a 3.6 percent increase from last year and the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2007, when 6.44 million Californians took a holiday trip.

The Auto Club is expecting 5.37 million statewide to go by car, which is up 3.5 percent from last year, and another 693,000 to fly — a 5.4 percent increase from last year. More than 200,000 are expected to use other modes of transportation, about the same as last year.

—City News Service

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