Also, President Bush appeared at the Transportation Department to announce the government will open military airspace this week to create additional highways in the sky. Officials often open those routes on busy holidays to ease congestion.
Bush called it a move to "expand the Thanksgiving express lanes."
Not everyone applauded the plan, with the International Air Transport Association suggesting the government's effort masks far bigger problems.
"President Bush's plan to solve the congestion problem by opening some military air space for only a few days during a national holiday is a political placebo for a serious illness," Steve Lott, spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, said in a statement from the group.
The Air Transport Association, which represents U.S. airlines, agreed that the plan is no substitute for modernizing the air traffic control system, but that it can't hurt.
"It's a significant aid," ATA's executive vice president and chief operating officer John Meenan told ABC News. "It's something that provides some flexibility that wouldn't otherwise be available. Particularly in a weather situation, it can often be a relief that we wouldn't otherwise be able to take advantage of."
Travel industry experts encouraged travelers to take the following steps to help travel days go smoothly:
Sign up for airlines' automated travel updates to get messages about delays on cell phones or Blackberries.
Be ready for airport security. Expect to remove your shoes and bulky winter coats. Don't wrap presents. Remember TSA's rule for carry-ons; use containers that are 3 ounces or less for liquids and pack them in one clear-plastic, zipper-lock bag.
Avoid driving home late at night, especially after a big turkey dinner. Tryptophan in turkey can make you sleepy, and if you've had any alcohol, stay put.
Arrive early for flights and trains. Amtrak advises getting to train stations 45 minutes early.