If you’re flying for Thanksgiving, get to the airport early. Security wait hit 45-minute peak Tuesday

Sacramento International Airport officials are giving you fair warning: Terminals were crowded Tuesday, but the worst is yet to come Wednesday and Sunday, the two busiest days of Thanksgiving week.

Passengers waited as long as 45 minutes in federal security lines Tuesday during the early morning peak hours in Terminal A, the older of the two airport facilities.

Transportation Security Administration officials say they are fully staffed in both terminals and are meeting their passenger pass-through goals. The Terminal A security area, though, has room for only five security lines, which has caused wait times to stretch in recent months as passenger crowds increase during the 4:30 to 6:30 a.m. peak hours.

Holiday crowds also include families with strollers, car seats and other items that make their passage through checkpoints slower than during non-holiday weeks, airport officials said. Airport employees will be on duty through the weekend making sure fliers are in the correct lines – and that they have their boarding passes, which some infrequent fliers forget they need.

“It’s all hands on deck,” airport spokeswoman Laurie Slothower said.

However, the crowding may start out in the parking lots. As of Tuesday afternoon, the airport’s economy lot was 80 percent full and is likely to completely fill at various points through the weekend, Slothower said.

Airport officials are urging fliers to check the airport’s real-time parking data map on the airport website before arriving at the airport. The airport’s daily lot also may fill during the weekend.

Slothower said fliers should arrive two hours before their flight departure time. They should also check with their airline before heading to the airport to make sure their flight is on time.

Tony Bizjak: 916-321-1059, @TonyBizjak

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