More than 23,000 travellers packed into the Edmonton International Airport Friday during one of the busiest travel days of the year.

An additional 50,000 people were there to drop off or greet arriving loved ones and family members.

And airport staff say all those extra bodies can make for a hectic travel experience.

"The lines are a bit longer. People are travelling with children, they're travelling with more bags, we have travellers who don't travel quite as often so they're a little bit less aware of what the routine is, so everything just takes a little longer," said EIA spokesperson Heather Hamilton.

Airport officials say the best way to avoid travel stress during the holiday is to give yourself some extra time on busy streets and to arrive well before your flight.

And the airport isn't the only place that's crowded malls around the city are offering extended Christmas shopping hours for those last-minute gift-buyers.

CBC’s Laura Osman hit up West Edmonton Mall on Friday night to see how some Edmontonians are dealing with the holiday crush.