Holiday Travel at Tri-Cities Airport Exceeds Expectations
The Tri-Cities Airport was bustling over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Airport Director Buck Taft says holiday travel was busier than anticipated.
"We were scrambling. We saw 350 more passengers per day, the week of Thanksgiving. We weren't expecting that. We were ready. We handled it well. But that was a pretty big jump from the previous year."
Taft attributes the more than 20% increase to a couple factors.
"I think more people just were ready to travel this year. And I think that, coupled with bigger aircraft, played a role in that. It was interesting to see."
All flights before Thanksgiving arrived and departed on time. When the fog started to settle later in the week, flight delays became apparent.
"If you've ever come down off the highway and you're driving into Pasco, you kind of see that the airport sits in this little bowl, and the fog just kind of seems to fit in there a little bit longer than it does everywhere else in the Tri Cities."
As far as breaking November travel records, Taft says the airport is still trailing 2019 numbers by about 1%.
"The fog yesterday kind of had an impact on things. But if we can get through the rest of November with minimal fog days, I think we could be close." Taft added.
Airport staff will have a short break from the hustle and bustle of holiday travel. Unlike Thanksgiving week when airport activity ramps up over a few days, Christmas travel goes on for about three weeks.
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Gallery Credit: Townsquare Media, Tri-Cities