Holiday Travel Season Off to Rough Start

The weather will be less of an issue this weekend as sunnier skies return to the Carolinas, but it will be busy.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The holiday travel season officially kicked off on Thursday, but it didn’t get off to the best start. According to Flight-Aware, over 400 delays and cancellations were reported at CLT today, thanks to the rain and fog. The weather will be less of an issue this weekend as sunnier skies return to the Carolinas, but it will be busy.

“We saw over 800,000 passengers that actually passed through the airport during the period that started November 17th and ended November 28th,” says Charlotte-Douglas Chief of Operations Jerome Woodard.

Even more could be streaming through the gates at CLT as Christmas travel opens up this weekend. Of course, with increased volume comes increased wait times at security and check-in.

“If you’re planning to travel out of CLT or anywhere else this holiday season, we ask that you get to the airport two hours prior to your scheduled departure time.”

That was TSA spokesman Mark Howell.

Another concern? Airport construction. Charlotte-Douglas says it’s doing all it can to keep passengers moving.

“We have the same flow for Christmas as we did for Thanksgiving, and that flow worked really, really well,” according to CLT Chief of Development and Infrastructure Jack Christine.

“We didn’t have any major issues in the lobby to speak of. It was busy, but we were able to help everybody get where they needed to go.”

Swimmer Megan Smith and her coach Taylor Cole flew in to the Queen City today from Oregon as she prepares for trials ahead of the upcoming 2024 Paralympics.

“I was a little bit concerned about weather delays and other kinds of delays that might influence whether I got to swim tonight and get loosened up and stuff, so a little bit, but it actually turned out really well.”

Christmas is still over a week away, but it’s never too early to head home for the holidays.

“It’s a blessing,” Jonathan Maddy, a native West Virginian returning home from Air Force training agrees.

“I know a lot of people can’t… Some people overseas rarely get to see their families, so I’m blessed to be here right now.”