CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The terror attacks in Brussels come just days before the peak of spring travel here in the United States. Airport officials at Charlotte Douglas International say they are expecting to be busier than normal in the weeks ahead.
The rush starts Thursday, according to officials.
Before offering tips Tuesday to help travelers navigate another hectic travel season, leaders with Charlotte Douglas International took the time to address this morning's terror attacks overseas.
"We offer our deepest condolences and sympathies to the victims and the families of the victims who will have to deal with this tragedy," Said Jack Christine, Deputy Aviation Director.
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Elijah Morey was on his way to Liberia this morning. He was scheduled to catch a connecting flight in Brussels.
"To know that that could happen, and I could have been there when it happened, we're both very fortunate that I wasn't there," Morey said.
He waited for more than three hours alongside his father, figuring out how to get to Liberia, after his flight to Brussels was cancelled.
"It's scary to think things like this can still happen," Morey said. "I feel safe in the U.S., but when I travel out of the country, I'm going to try and keep my eyes open."
Morey's father, Bret, wasn't going to travel, and he said he and his wife are thankful Elijah was not one of the victims in the attack.
"We're fortunate he wasn't on his way there, or already there," Morey said.
In 2015, Charlotte Douglas welcomed 44.9 million travelers. That was good enough to set an all-time passenger record for the sixth consecutive
year, according to airport officials.
As you know, more passengers means longer lines and more frustrations.
To help your travels go smoothly this spring and summer, airport officials have the follow tips:
- Remember that all gates and concourses can be accessed through any security checkpoint.
- Also, before heading to the airport, you can check with your airline for up-to-date baggage size and weight rules. Additional fees could be applicable.
- Save time by printing boarding passes at home or using mobile boarding passes.
- Those with disabilities can easily access handicap parking, which is available in every parking lot. Accessible shuttles run continuously.
Airport officials are also reminding travelers that current security measures increase time needed to check in. When traveling with young children, infants, elderly or disabled passengers, you are advised to allow even more time.
Travelers in Charlotte noticed that time difference, saying an already time-consuming process took even longer Tuesday, with security boosted in the wake of the Brussels attacks.
Yvonne Walker was waiting in the ticketing area for her granddaughter to board her plane. She said she noticed how much longer than normal it was taking to get through security.
"It may slow down the process of traveling, but it's worth it to be safe than sorry," Walker said.
But the extra security made travelers feel safer than they normally would, even after the attacks. Morey said this made him fell comfortable continuing with his flight.
"I didn't have any second thoughts," Morey said.
Also, people are encouraged to speak up if something doesn't seem right.
"We have been promoting the 'see something, say something' campaign for a long time here at the airport, so if you are out here, if you see anything
unusual, report it to law enforcement or security," said Herbert Judon, Airport Security Coordinator.
Walker took that message to heart. While she was waiting, she noticed a laptop left behind, sitting in the seat next to her.
"In fact someone left a laptop in one of those chairs. We just alerted them to pick it up because we didn't want to touch it. We don't know what it is, so they came and got it. Thinking about Brussels, let an officer check it out and see what it is," Walker said.
For more on airport security, you can visit the TSA website at www.tsa.gov.