BTR sees increase in travelers ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Baton Rouge Metro Airport is seeing higher volume over the past few months and the number of people traveling for the holiday. Airport officials say the trend will continue.

Wednesday was one of the busiest travel days of the year as people prepare to be with family and friends for Thanksgiving.

People like Gretchen James hit the terminals and packed up their cars to meet with loved ones for the holiday.

“I’m going to visit my daughter and her family and all the grandkids,” said James.

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport said this year’s Thanksgiving flight volume will be higher than 2020.

“At least 50% more than we had last year and close to 2019 levels,” said Baton Rouge Metro Airport Marketing Public Relations Director Jim Caldwell.

He said they are geared up and ready to go for the holiday season.

“Our TSA has added some staffing, so they’re at full levels, as have the airlines. So we don’t anticipate any issues at the airport,” Caldwell.

For those who take to the roadways, American Automobile Association (AAA) spokesman Don Redman cautioned people to be patient on the road because traffic may be a little more hectic this year.

“We are anticipating about 90% of everyone who’s traveling for the holidays and we’re traveling by car and we’re not quite where we were in 2019, but we’re really close,” he said.

He also said it’s safe to fill up because gas prices are looking a lot better this month.

“We’re getting into the area of close to $0.10 cheaper than we were just three or four weeks ago, so it’s been a really nice, steady decline,” Redman.

More people are hitting the road or taking to the skies as COVID-19 numbers dip, just in time for the holidays.

“It’s a good feeling seeing people, visiting friends and family and traveling again, and I think there’s so much pent-up demand that the people are just happy to be able to do those things again,” said Caldwell.

Caldwell said there may be a few spots left if you’re looking to book a last-minute flight and he reminds everyone to bring their masks and hand sanitizers for the trip.

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