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Charlotte airport packed as thousands of people travel for Thanksgiving

AAA expects a record number of people to travel this Thanksgiving, making an already busy Charlotte Douglas even more crowded.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The rush is on for Thanksgiving travelers in Charlotte. 

Wednesday before Thanksgiving is always one of the busiest days of the year as people try to get to their celebrations. Charlotte Douglas International Airport one of the to 10 busiest airports in the country, and the holiday is only going to make it even more crowded. 

"We were ready last night," said Susan Pires. "We arrived at 4:30, parked, and a bus took us right to the terminal and here we are."

AAA of the Carolinas is predicting a record number of people are traveling for Thanksgiving. At Charlotte Douglas, they're expecting 30,000 local passengers to travel through the airport Wednesday, and the same number coming back home on Sunday and Monday. On top of that, airport officials expect another 100,000 people catching connecting flights in Charlotte. 

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Lines were long before the sun came up Wednesday with many people giving themselves more than enough time to make it through security and to their gate. 

"I just get here early. Make sure I can beat everybody and get through with no problems," said Moses Maine. 

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With so many people flying out of the Queen City, airport officials are warning that long-term parking will probably be full by lunch Wednesday. They're encouraging people to use the daily lots and hourly parking if you're dropping off or picking up family members. 

"The parking lot out there is really bad," said Donald Brown. "I wasn't too sure about the timing, so I wanted to be here early. So when I get on the plane, I'm going to sleep." 

For the latest updates on airport parking, you can download the Charlotte Douglas app to know which decks and lots are full. 

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