Travelers flock to Charlotte Douglas International Airport as holiday weekend travel ramps up

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 11:40 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -Officials from Charlotte Douglas International Airport are anticipating crowds that are near pre-pandemic levels during the Fourth of July weekend. Travelers are being asked to arrive early for check-in and security screening.

According to a press release from the airport, the largest crowds are expected to arrive at the airport on Thursday, July 1, Friday, July 2 and Monday, July 5. Officials estimate 27,000 to 28,000 daily local travelers will pass through the airport on those days.

WBTV spoke with several travelers passing through the airport Thursday evening.

Charlotte resident Chris Grainger said he was flying to Fort Lauderdale for a golf trip. He said he arrived at the airport three hours before his departure time after receiving a warning email from American Airlines.

“I’ve never gotten an email like that from American like that saying ‘get here three hours before departure’ so I took it serious but it looks like it won’t be too bad,” said Grainger.

AAA anticipates more than 47.7 million people will be traveling on the roads and in the air this holiday weekend. The association expects travel volume to nearly return to pre-pandemic levels.

Michelle Sadler, a Yadkinville resident, said she was flying to see her brother in Oregon. She said she was looking forward to the trip.

“I’m actually looking forward to it just because I’m getting away from my kids and my husband for the weekend,” said Sadler.

Angel Salinas, a Charlotte resident, said he was heading to Miami to hang out with friends.

“15 months of COVID so we’re trying to enjoy the beach,” explained Salinas.

He explained that he still felt a little uneasy about traveling again.

“It’s still kind of one of those weird feelings, you know coming from a big pandemic, you don’t know what to expect, but at the end of the day everyone’s getting back to their normal lives so it’s a good sight to see,” said Salinas.

Officials from the airport remind travelers to get to their security gates three hours prior to a flight. Masks are still required to be worn by travelers while in the airport.

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