Columbia Metropolitan Airport preparing for busy travel week
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – Columbia Metropolitan Airport is expecting a surge of travelers for the holiday season. Airport officials are warning passengers to be prepared for long lines.
“Get to the airport early even if you think in the past, ‘oh I don’t have to get there early. I can just show up and walk right on.’ That is not how it will be now. For the holiday season and into the future we’re experiencing more and more people coming through. So that could also create longer lines at security. We always encourage you to wait at the gate which means get here early, get checked in, and get settled,” said Kim Crafton who is CAE’s Marketing Director.
Crafton says more people are vaccinated and are now comfortable taking to the skies again. All of the airlines flying out of the airport are all following really strict protocols and guidelines which include the filtering of air and extra cleaning of the aircraft. There is also a federal mandate through January 18, 2022 to wear a face mask in the airport and also the duration of a flight.
Crafton says fortunately there hasn’t been any staffing shortages at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport or with the airlines coming through. However, passengers need to keep the following in mind.
“If you are going to an airport that might be be connecting to a larger city – think about ATL or Charlotte – some of those destinations have been experiencing these challenges and so just pack your patience. And also make sure you give yourself plenty of time to connect wherever you’re going as well,” said Crafton.
According to Crafton, so far this year 702,000 passengers have come through the airport. She says it’s good to see many people coming back to air travel especially after last year.
“I know it was a really tough time for everyone in 2020. There were days when when a plane would land and the only people that would get off would be the pilot and the flight attendants. So to see a full airport, to see people hustling and bustling again, getting to their flights, traveling all over it’s something that we are really grateful for and we really encourage people to continue to fly through CAE,” said Crafton.