Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is preparing for a surge in visitors as the busy travel period surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day begins Friday.
Public Relations Manager Jeff Lea says the airport is expecting a 15 to 20 percent increase from normal passenger traffic at peak travel times over the next two weeks.
“The biggest travel day prior to Christmas for air travel is going to be Friday,” he said.
In addition, he adds that holiday travelers can expect to be flying with a significant number of men and women in uniform as well.
“That’s also the day we’re going to see the holiday military leave day out of Fort Leonard Wood. That adds another 5,000 servicemen coming to the airport to depart for home or elsewhere.”
About 19,000 to 20,000 passengers are expected to fly out of Lambert Friday.
Lea says travelers leaving before 9 a.m. should prepare for long lines and congestion at terminals and concourses. To accommodate the holiday surge in traffic this year, the Transportation Security Agency will be opening all checkpoints an hour early Friday at 3 a.m. Lea advises travelers to arrive at the airport two hours before their flight’s departure.