Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Expects Increased Holiday Traffic

Officials urge Thanksgiving travelers to come early and be prepared.

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (Lambert) officials said they expect a 10-15 percent daily increase in passengers each day through the Thanksgiving holiday.

In its annual Thanksgiving travel forecast, AAA predicts 43.6 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday, up just 0.7 percent from last year.

The biggest single travel day of the holiday weekend for Lambert is projected to be the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

Officials at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport are urging passengers traveling through the airport to show up early, be patient and prepared. Officials add that people picking up guests should consider parking away at designated lots.

“The busy holiday travel season will mean more volume/traffic around the airport,” said Lambert Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “We strongly urge anyone picking up a passenger to utilize one of the cell phone lots.

"This will allow them to wait, free of charge and see when the flight has arrived on the flight board."

Hamm-Niebruegge said this will reduce congestion at the terminal droppoff/pickup areas.

"Passengers should call when they’ve picked up their luggage and are headed out to the passenger pick-up areas," she said. "It’s convenient.”

Passengers are urged to show up at least 90 minutes ahead of a scheduled flight. Liquids must be in bottles of 3.4 ounces or less that are placed in quart-sized, clear, plastic zip-top bags. Passengers are also told not to bring along wrapped holiday gifts.

Hamm-Niebruegge expect a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in daily passengers continuing through Nov. 25, despite reports more Americans will hit the road instead of flying.

Holiday travel demand has grown 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively, in the two previous Thanksgiving holiday periods even though economic growth was at a slower pace, according to AAA, which says it will take a stronger economy to spur a significant jump in travel demand going forward.

"Despite mild improvements in unemployment, the housing market and greater consumer optimism, the economy is still struggling to keep its head above water," AAA said in its forecast.

AAA expects 3.14 million people to fly, down from 3.2 million a year earlier.


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