Here are some tips for flying this Thanksgiving
This week is one of the busiest of the year at Shreveport Regional
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — “We just got in the October 2023 numbers, and those numbers compared to the October 2019 numbers were actually higher this year than they were in 2019.”
That’s Shreveport Regional’s Mark Crawford discussing a rise in monthly passenger counts despite a decline in the number of flights.
The airport is clearly busy right now before the holiday season, but what’s the outlook for Thanksgiving?
“The week of Thanksgiving is one of the busiest weeks here at the airport. We anticipate about 14,000 people will come through the airport,” Crawford said.
Some of those 14,000 are coming into Shreveport Regional before the holiday.
Travelers say the experience is smooth so far.
“It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. TSA, it only took probably about 15, 20 minutes,” Emma Michael said.
Airports are sporting their traditional holiday atmosphere.
“Yeah, there was definitely a little bit of chaos,” Zach Sanchez said.
“People trying to figure out where to go, running all over the place,” Michael added.
“There was families scrambling, you know, little kids running around,” Sanchez observed.
And no holiday travel experience is complete without a little turbulence.
“Our flight got delayed 15 minutes, so we made it to our gate,” Sanchez said. “Plane was relatively full. Took about 30, 45 minutes. Nothing too crazy.”
With Thanksgiving ahead, there still are plenty of you preparing to travel. Here’s what you need to know:
“Only bring with you what you think you’re definitely going to need on your trip,” Crawford said. “You don’t want your suitcase to weigh too much and have to pay the extra fee or have to remove things from your bag at the ticket counter.”
He added, “You know, when you’re bringing something through the checkpoint, make sure you do not have any prohibited items with you. That certainly slows down the process.”
When you’re sure you have packed properly, plan for your arrival.
“Get here at least two hours early before your scheduled departure, regardless of if you’re flying American Allegiant, Delta or United,” Crawford suggested.
And, remember, your phone is a useful traveling tool in airports.
“You can do everything from download your ticket to check in for your flight, to even track where your bag is for your check bag,” Crawford said.
“If you’re not checking a bag, you can bypass the ticket counter altogether, so that way you can go straight to the checkpoint with your carry-on bag and get through the checkpoint much faster than you can if you had to stop at the ticket counter.”
SOME QUICK FACTS
🛫 Shreveport Regional is the commercial carrier airport in Shreveport and serves residents in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas.
✈️ Opened on July 6, 1952, the airport expanded in 1971 to its current building and expanded again in 1999 with a new central terminal building.
🛬 Shreveport is served by four airlines:
- Allegiant with non-stop service to Las Vegas, Orlando and Destin, Fla.;
- American Airlines with non-stop service to Dallas and Charlotte;
- Delta Air Lines with non-stop service to Atlanta; and,
- United Airlines with non-stop service to Denver and Houston.
🛫 For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger numbers at Shreveport Regional have topped 2019 totals for the same month.
✈️ In October 2023, 57,848 passengers traveled through Shreveport Regional, an increase of 1,566 passengers when only 56,282 traveled in October 2019. That is a 3% increase over 2019 numbers and an 11% increase over 2022 numbers.
🛬 While the passenger numbers are up over 2019 levels, the number of flights each day is down. The airport has 16 flights a day, which is five fewer daily flights than in 2019.
🛫 The airlines are sending larger planes to Shreveport Regional, and ArkLaTex residents are filling them. The average load factors, or the percentage of seats filled with passengers, of flights now is 86%, compared to 75% in 2019.
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