Busy Holiday Travel Season Kicks off at Charlotte Douglas Airport

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A busy weekend at the airport and on the roads, as the holiday travel season gets underway.

COVID concerns are not stopping some from visiting family and friends this Thanksgiving.

While fewer people will fly this year, Charlotte Douglas Airport is preparing for the most travelers since mid-March.

Airport officials say you might be surprised how busy the airport actually is, and you should prepare for changes meant to keep you safe.

“I felt pretty OK, the flight attendants handed out wipes and they sprayed all the seats down before everybody sat down, so I felt pretty OK about flying today,” says Joey Baillie.

She flew in from Niagara Falls on Sunday.

Despite COVID concerns, she still wanted to visit her family in Troutman.

“I really would like to, wanted to see my family for the holidays so, despite hearing everything, you just gotta be safe, hand sanitizer, masks, and keep your distance from everybody,” she says.

If you’re flying over the holidays, remember face coverings are now required at the airport, including in the terminal, parking decks, and shuttle buses.

60 hand sanitizing stations have also been added.

Cleaning around the clock is focusing on high touch areas like tables, chairs, and hand rails.

“We’ve done our homework and tried to be as safe and cautious as we can,” says Pineville resident Erin Molina.

She came to pick up her mother, who’s flying in from San Antonio.

“(I feel) comfortable because we read everything that we could, but then once the CDC advised against, the plans were already made and we just kinda held our breath and are going with it, honestly,” Molina says.

The busiest days at the airport will be Tuesday and Wednesday. And then the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

The number of passengers will be cut in half from last year, with around 17,000 local passengers expected Wednesday, compared to around 35,000 last year.