Thanksgiving Travel Rush: Americans Brace for Holiday

PHOTO: Airline passengers check-in at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Nov. 20, 2012, in Houston.
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As the Thanksgiving travel season starts to heat up, there's a double threat to air travel on the West Coast.

First, airport workers are scheduled to demonstrate at Los Angeles International tomorrow afternoon, prompting warnings for passengers to give themselves a three-hour cushion at LAX and an extra 90 minutes in travel time.

And second, crippling rain in Oregon and Washington expected to delay northwest flights.

But since these are not major domestic hubs, the ripple effect of bad weather there is unlikely to spread.

RELATED: Weird Ways to Pass the Time at the Airport

And there is good news for the rest of the country: Weather is on travelers' side for a change.

"If there were to be a storm in Chicago or the Northeast you could count on mass chaos, but it doesn't look like that's going to be the case at all," said Genevieve Shaw Brown, ABC News Travel & Lifestyle Editor.

New 2012 holiday tricks for savvy travelers:

-- Some airlines will allow you to avoid the baggage counter by tagging and checking your own bag.

-- TSA has a new pre-check program this year. Sign up and you pass through a separate security line, with your laptop in your bag, and your shoes on your feet.

-- New smartphone apps monitor security lines, so you can know how much time you'll spend on them. You don't want to miscalculate; flights are full and re-booking will be a challenge.

"It's extremely important to know how much time you actually have to get to your gate so that you don't potentially miss your flight and get stuck at the airport for Thanksgiving," said Brown.

One final tip: Leave the cranberry sauce at home. Because of the TSA ban on liquids, your turkey is welcome but the cranberries are on the no-fly list.

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