SAN DIEGO – Heading out of town for the holidays? Picking up? Dropping off? Construction at the San Diego International Airport terminal one will lead to delays for your holiday travel.

It may be the most wonderful time of year, but the busiest travel days are still ahead. Transportation Security Administration already expects travel numbers to be close to pre-pandemic levels with the busiest travel days predicted to be Thursday the 22nd and Friday the 30th.

“Get here early, I am normally cutting it close but luckily today I decided to be early, and it paid off,” said Ashley Reinhardt, just one of the many travelers flocking to San Diego from out of town. “It was a lot busier than I anticipated, I thought I was going to beat the holiday rush.”

This comes amid a year-long construction project at terminal one which kicked off in November of 2021.

“We’ve been in construction for a little over a year. Anybody that has been to the airport within the last year, within the last few days or months will notice that there is a ton of stuff going on, all along Harbor Dr., really the entire airport campus is really under construction at this point, so things are moving along,” Sabrina Lopiccolo, a spokesperson with San Diego International Airport told FOX 5.

The opening of the terminal one parking lot is anticipated to open in 2024, the first phase of terminal one will then open in 2025 and the second phase in 2027.

“Certainly, expect lots of traffic coming in and out of the airport. Even if you’re not going to the airport there’s still going to be a lot of congestion along Harbor Dr.,” Lopiccolo said.

To ease your travel troubles, airport officials reminding people to practice patience, and to know what and what not to bring as you travel through TSA checkpoints. According to the TSA website, you can pack holiday food in your carry on or checked bags. Officials do urge, if you plan to bring gifts, make sure they’re unwrapped.

Another crucial reminder circles around firearms. Officials ask travelers to not attempt to bring a firearm through a TSA checkpoint. According to the website, “doing so compromises the safety and security of other passengers and our officers in the checkpoint.  Passengers who do attempt to bring a firearm through a checkpoint can expect to receive a civil penalty (fines may be as high as $15,000) and lose eligibility for TSA pre-check. Additionally, local law enforcement will be called and because these passengers may present additional risk beyond the firearm, they will receive enhanced screening.”

This comes after TSA officers found 6,301 firearms in carry-on bags so far this year, surpassing the previous record of 5,972 detected in 2021. The numbers have been increasing steadily over the last decade; in 2012, 1,549 firearms were detected at security checkpoints.

For any other inquiries regarding TSA lines, visit here for specific instructions before you pack your bags.