There’s an uptick in holiday air travel this year

Those who had to cancel get-togethers last year are making up for lost time this holiday season.
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 8:50 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Those who had to cancel get-togethers last year are making up for lost time this holiday season. Airports on the Western Slope are seeing a huge uptick in air travel this week. Officials say, starting Tuesday the Grand Junction Regional Airport is going to be packed.

Sylvia Skeps flew in from Arizona to spend the holidays with her husband and grandson. When asked about how her travel experience was, she replied, “Very long but it’s been good. Very crowded. Security was kind of slow and there’s lots of people all over the place waiting to get on lots of planes. No places to sit really. But it’s worth it.”

According to AAA, 89% of Coloradans will be traveling this holiday season. Thursday, Dec. 23 is generally the busiest travel day, and the slowest travel days being Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

According to AAA, there is a 32% increase in Colorado holiday travel over last year. Just 8% less than 2019, which was the highest on record.

Montrose County Digital Communications Manager Erika Story says, Montrose Regional Airport is having one of their best years ever with a record breaking number of visits through their terminal. She says they are even busier than Thanksgiving week due to the added travelers who plan to ski at nearby resorts.

“This particular week has been so busy,” said Story. “We’re seeing tons of family reunions at the airport, it’s really fun to see. It is very busy right now and we ask that people make sure to arrive at the airport a little early to accommodate any extra lines for going through TSA. But yeah, it’s absolutely hopping at the airport right now.”

Officials recommend travelers arrive at the airport early so they have plenty of time to get through longer TSA lines and other travel checkpoints. For domestic travel, both AAA and airport officials suggest getting there two hours ahead of departure time and three hours ahead for international flights.

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