Salt Lake Airport sees massive holiday travel surge, weather affecting flights

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The holiday travel rush is here and with hours until Christmas, travel experts are forecasting long lines at airports and on the roads.

Our ABC4 Pinpoint Weather Team is also forecasting some wintry conditions across our state.

​Being prepared is crucial — on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, checking the status of your flight and knowing what items are allowed in your carry-on luggage before arriving will save a ton of hassle. Also, be prepared to have a lot of company in those check-in lines beside you.

Travel experts are expecting an average of 25,000 passengers flying in and out of the Salt Lake City International Airport throughout today and tomorrow.

One traveler tells us he’s heading out for a fun vacation with the family.

“We’re going to LA, then on a Caribbean cruise,” says Bruce Bahner.

Christmas in the sunshine is also what the Husaris say they’re looking for as well.

“We’re very excited to get out of the cold, someplace a little bit warmer,” says Emma Husari.

And that’s perfect timing, as our ABC4 Pinpoint Weather Team says portions of the state are under a winter storm watch, creating tricky conditions at the airport and on the roads with valley rain and mountain snow expected over the next 48 hours

While dropping her sister off at the airport, Felicity Shaw says she’s, “Planning to drive down to​ St. George to escape the cold.”

Gray, who is traveling early Thursday morning says he switched his flights around to make sure he ​didn’t get caught in the snowstorm.

“I was actually on a flight tonight, but I was able to standby and get a 6 a.m. flight,” says Gray, who used the airport’s website to catch an earlier flight out.

Officials suggest utilizing the airport’s website to monitor flight arrival times, along with weather conditions that may impact their travel. They also ask travelers to observe all COVID-19 protocols by wearing a mask and social distancing.

Airport officials strongly advise arriving two hours before departure time for domestic flights and three hours prior for international flights. For a speedier process, you can check-in online before heading to the airport.

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