Travelers flock to airport as Charlotte-Douglas prepares for busy holiday weekend

AAA expects more than 3 million people to fly this Fourth of July weekend.
The holiday rush comes as travelers across the country have dealt with an uptick in cancellations and delays.
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 10:03 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Officials from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport are expecting the Fourth of July weekend to be one of the airport’s busiest travel weekends since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crowds of travelers could be seen at the airport Thursday evening.

The holiday rush comes as travelers across the country have dealt with an uptick in cancellations and delays.

Airlines have canceled more than 21,000 flights since Memorial Day, according to CBS News.

Regardless of the travel troubles, AAA predicts that millions of Americans will be traveling for the Fourth of July holiday. The association predicts 47.9 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home over the holiday weekend, and 3.55 million of those travelers will be flying.

Ferebory Keita, a Delaware resident, said he and his girlfriend were passing through Charlotte-Douglas on their way to Key West, Fla., but had already dealt with cancellations and a delay during their trip.

“I booked the first (flight) through American,” Keita said. “It was canceled. I booked through Delta – got canceled. I booked through American again which was delayed to get here, that way we missed our connecting flight and now I just booked another flight going to Miami.”

Jonathan Degrenier, a Dallas, Texas resident, said he was concerned about traveling home for the holiday weekend.

“I don’t want to stay here overnight,” Degrenier said. “It’s been six weeks since I’ve been back home to see my family. I’m just praying for the best.”

Jonathan Donahue, a Davidson resident, flew in to Charlotte from New York on Thursday. He warned others about traveling during the holiday weekend.

“Everything is crowded,” Donahue said. “Everything is delayed. Everything is packed. The roads are crazy. If you don’t need to travel, just stay home. Enjoy a little barbecue, some hot dogs and hamburgers, let off some sparklers, stay home, go to the pool. Don’t travel. Don’t get on a plane.”

Charlotte-Douglas posted a message on social media Thursday encouraging travelers to arrive early, expect lines, crowded parking facilities and busy airport roadways.

Related: People waiting days for baggage at CLT Airport after flight delays, cancellations

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