Thousands upon thousands of Iowans are heading out of town in the next day or so to visit far-away family and friends for the holiday. Travel expert Terry Trippler says the airlines are packing their planes as full as possible and some are intentionally overbooking the flights. Trippler says “People are traveling in record numbers. I had one airline tell me, one legacy carrier said that their load factors are ‘mind blowing.'”

A load factor is the percentage of seats that have paying customers sitting in them and those numbers are expected over 90-percent for the next few days. Tripler says that means if you miss your flight, your chances of getting a seat on another plane are very, very slim.He says “Every year we tell people to get to the airport early and this year we really mean it. If you miss your flight this year there’s a very good chance you missed your entire trip because although there are flights after yours and although the airline would like to put you on, there are probably not seats available.”

Trippler says if you’re packed and ready to go a few hours early — get to the airport. He says you might be able to grab an earlier flight and you’ll be guaranteed to get on your original flight.