Packed parking? Yes, but Salt Lake Airport ramps up operations during Thanksgiving travel

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Shuttle bus after shuttle bus circled the airport grounds Wednesday, as a packed economy lot bustled with attendants flagging cars and travelers waiting for rides.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is traditionally a busy travel day, but a year-over-year comparison shows how markedly different this year’s airport numbers are from a year ago. Salt Lake City International Airport estimates nearly double the travelers on this Wednesday compared to a year ago when vaccines weren’t available and travel had contracted.

“Just be patient — that’s what we ask,” said Nancy Vollmer, the airport’s spokesperson.

Economy lots were nearly full on Wednesday, with people packing shuttles.

“I’ve never seen this parking lot be so full,” said traveler Tessa Wilson.

Parking lot attendants flagged cars to far reaches of the parking lot, and passengers told ABC4 they were prepared for a long day.

“Chaotic, but fun,” said Wilson.

And for Rachel Wright, whose family of four suffered from COVID during Thanksgiving last year, being on a trip to celebrate with family this year is worth the inevitable holiday travel headaches.

“At least we get to look forward to that throughout the chaos,” said Wright.

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