Snow expected to disrupt busy Thanksgiving travel week at DIA and throughout Denver

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DENVER -- In just a few days, the warm weather will turn back into a winter mess — just in time for one of the busiest weeks of holiday travel.

“It’s going to be the perfect storm—especially if we look Monday into Tuesday.  We’ve got Thanksgiving travelers, mixing with commuters, mixing with the snow.  So all that at once really is going to lengthen your commute,” said AAA Colorado spokesperson Skyler McKinley.

McKinley says that commute could be four times as long throughout major metro areas.

He’s encouraging drivers to budget for extra time on the road next week, and make sure their cars are weather-ready by Monday night.

"For example, if the headlights glow when you rev, or if you’ve had some starter issues—probably when the storm comes, you’re going to have to get a new battery.  So be aware of that and replace it beforehand,” he explained.

“Your tire pressure warning light is also going to come on when the temperature starts to drop.  That warning light exists for a reason—it’s there to warn you that your tires need to have enough air to have proper traction,” McKinley added.  “Before you head out on cold morning, go ahead and fill up to that recommended level.”

And if you’re traveling by air, Denver International Airport says it doesn’t hurt to keep a close eye on your flight status in the days leading up to your travel day.

Depending on how the weather shakes out, some airlines may choose to offer travel waivers or cancel or delay flights in advance.  So definitely check in with your airline now, and as your trip gets closer,” said DIA spokesperson Emily Williams.

They recommend all holiday travelers arrive in the terminal next week two hours ahead of their departure time.

“A good way to avoid some of those lines at airline check-in counters is to utilize our bag check locations.  We have two of those locations,” said Williams.

“One of them is a drive up location off of 75th Avenue, next to the Pikes Peak shuttle lot.  The other location is located on the transit center platform, if you’re coming in on the A-line or another RTD service,” she said.

Bags must be checked at those locations at least 90 minutes before your departure time.

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