Holiday travel returns to near pre-COVID numbers

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- Maretta and Tim Freshour traveled to Utah for a holiday trip with their family.

“Our son, daughter in law and two grandchildren, they are here to snowboard, ski and snowmobile,” says Maretta. “And we hold down the lodge while they’re skiing,” says Tim.

And while traveling went relatively smooth for the Freshour family, this holiday season, AAA estimates 109 million people are traveling between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2. Airlines are seeing more than a 180 percent increase in travelers compared to last year.

More than 109 million Americans are expected to travel this holiday season, according to AAA. Airlines are seeing more than a 180% increase in travelers compared to last year. With 25,000 people coming through the front door of the Salt Lake City International Airport Wednesday, numbers are close to pre-pandemic levels.

“Last year around this time we were seeing about 11,000 to 17,000 people, per day, coming through those front doors. So we’re seeing almost twice as many people as we did last year,” says Nancy Volmer, a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City International Airport. A higher number of travelers means having a harder time finding parking and waiting in longer lines. Volmer says these things combined with possible winter weather delays may create a hectic travel period, so travelers should plan ahead. “That’s especially if you haven’t been to the new airport. It’s totally different so it will take more time to navigate,” says Volmer.

She also advises people to check in before going to the airport, checking with airlines to make sure flights are not delayed or canceled, and to arrive two hours before departure for domestic flights, and three hours before international flights.

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