CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte Douglas Airport offcials are gearing up for the start of a busy holiday travel season. AAA expects 4.2 million people to fly this year across the country. That’s about double compared to last year.
“Bring a lot of patience,” said one traveler.
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is closing in.
“Just got to be patient. Take a deep breath, maybe meditate before you set out and just try and chill out and have a good time and enjoy the season,” said Dean Otto, a traveler at Charlotte Douglas Airport.
The passengers are anticipating longer lines, increased security, and infrequent flyers having to relearn the rules and regulations.
“I know it’s going to be hectic. This airport is going to be crazy Thanksgiving week,” said Otto.
Charlotte Douglas officials say they expect an increase in passenger traffic beginning this weekend.
Thirty thousand passengers are expected at the airport on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, compared to about 17,000 last year, and around 35,000 in 2019.
“Traffic and a lot of people in the airports,” said passenger Deirdre Costogan.
Along with the crowds are Covid concerns. Masks are still required in the Terminal and on airplanes. But more and more people are venturing out to travel. Something they didn’t do last year.
“Always in the back of your mind, you’re going into an area that your body isn’t accustomed too, so you don’t know if you’re picking up a different variant so you want to be super super careful,” said Costogan.