COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus airport officials are asking flyers to pack their patience this Memorial Day Weekend.
They are expecting the holiday weekend to be one of the busiest travel weekends they’ve experienced since 2019. John Glenn International Airport is expecting to see an average of 14,300 people flying from the airport each day this weekend, airport officials said.
They said this is above the typical Memorial Day weekend average, with flyers saying they are ready to kick off the summer season.
“School is just out, so it’s a perfect time to go on vacation right now,” traveler Connor Pellington said.
2019 was a record-breaking year with 8.9 million passengers traveling, according to airport officials. That dipped in 2020 with 3.5 million passengers and then in 2021 with 6.1 million.
Airport officials said their numbers have continued to climb post-pandemic.
Adam Tucker travels often for business and said the bigger crowds have become obvious.
“I noticed that the airports were picking up again,” Tucker said. “Six months, a year ago, it was very nice, kinda sliding through, but it’s getting crazy again but it’s not bad.”
Lauren Warner is flying to Rome to study abroad. She said she hasn’t hit too much turbulence making it to her flight.
“Pretty good. Actually yeah, we’ve had a pretty easy time,” Warner said.
Kati Hartwig, digital media specialist for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, wants to remind flyers to double-check their bags for TSA-prohibited items before hitting security.
“Be sure to start with an empty bag, especially with your carry on just to make sure none of those prohibited items are in there,” Hartwig said.
She encouraged people to give themselves extra time to prepare for airport parking, lines or setbacks.
“Now we have that increased passenger traffic again,” Hartwig said. “So just make sure you are giving yourself that 90-minute grace period for domestic flights and two hours for international.”
Hartwig expects the high traffic to continue into the summer.
They have also just added five new direct flight destinations for passengers. The new Breeze Airways flights to Providence, Rhode Island, and Jacksonville, Florida begin this weekend. Another new flight with Breeze Airways to Savannah, Georgia begins on June 4.