Press Release Article


Date: Nov 18, 2004
Press Release Number: 141-2004

Port Authority Expects a Significant Increase in Holiday Traffic this Year, Advises Travelers to Allow Extra Time and Be Patient

About 5.5 million travelers are expected to use Port Authority airports, bridges and tunnels during the six-day Thanksgiving holiday period – Wednesday, November 24, to Monday, November 29. More than 1.5 million passengers are expected to use John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports during the period, a 17.6 percent increase over last year. The Port Authority expects airport parking lots to fill up quickly.

Chief Operating Officer Ernesto L. Butcher strongly recommends that travelers find alternate modes of transportation to the airport. “Thankgiving is the busiest travel period of the year, and airport parking, especially long-term, will be limited,” he said. “We urge travelers to take advantage of our rail link services, AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark.”


About 663,000 travelers are expected to use Kennedy Airport during the holiday weekend – a 22 percent increase over the 510,560 passengers who used the airport during the holiday period last year.

This increase may cause a parking shortage. Travelers who must drive to the airport should call 718 244-4444 for parking information or tune to airport radio at 1630 AM for parking updates. Passengers taking advantage of AirTrain JFK can call 877 JFK-AirTrain (877 535-2478) for train schedules.

About 539,500 travelers are expected to use Newark Liberty International Airport during the period – an 18 percent increase from 457,250 passengers last year.

Passengers using public transportation to any Port Authority airport can call 800 AIR-RIDE for up-to-date information. Information also is available for AirTrain Newark, which connects the airport to NJ Transit and Amtrak rail service. For current parking information at Newark Liberty International Airport, call 888 EWR-INFO and press 22, or tune to 530 AM when near the airport.

LaGuardia Airport is expected to handle about 398,000 travelers, up 11 percent from the 358,760 passengers last year. Travelers who decide to drive to LaGuardia Airport should call 718 533-3400 for parking information or tune to airport radio at 530 AM. Information on parking at all three airports also can be found on the Port Authority Web site –

Noting that it could take longer for travelers to check in and board their flights due to increased security, Mr. Butcher urged travelers to allow extra time beyond what airlines recommend. Travelers should be aware that the Port Authority and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have zero tolerance for passengers who attempt to board planes with sharp objects. A list of prohibited items can be found at the TSA website at Travelers carrying prohibited item are subject to criminal prosecution.

Tunnels, Bridges and Bus Terminals

More than 4.2 million travelers are expected to use Port Authority bridges and tunnels during the six-day weekend holiday period. To ease congestion, the Port Authority will suspend construction and scheduled maintenance work at the George Washington Bridge, the Holland and Lincoln tunnels and the three Staten Island bridges from Wednesday, November 24, until Monday, November 29. For more information on construction, call the agency’s tunnels and bridges “Customer Connection” line at 800 221-9903 or visit

Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH)

PATH will operate a holiday/weekend schedule on Thanksgiving Day, with trains running every 15 minutes on all service lines between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. For additional information, call 800 234-PATH (7284) or visit

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

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