HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Huntsville International Airport is starting to see travel numbers closer to its pre-pandemic days. Whether it’s people traveling for leisure, business or are just more comfortable to go to popular destinations, HSV is seeing number go upwards.
Mary Swanstrom, Public Relations Manager at Huntsville International Airport, says those numbers are a breath of fresh air for the airport.
“We’re at about 72 percent of our passenger traffic that we would typically have seen in a non-COVID year and by that I’m speaking to 2019, which was a breakout year for Huntsville International,” Swanstrom told News 19.
In October, the number of currently scheduled weekly flights has gone up 8.5%. Comparing weekly flights in September, which were at 188, in October, they’re at 204 weekly flights.
While many major cities attract out of towners to fly out of their airports, they’ve still seen some sort of a decline in recent months. HSV hasn’t only seen its travel numbers go up, but it’s who is flying and where they’re choosing to fly out of that’s the true win for the airport.
“We do track our passengers who do drive to Birmingham and Nashville,” Swanstrom added. “We noticed that has decreased this summer. Some people just prefer to be closer to home when they’re traveling and they don’t have to worry about a possible traffic jam or any other stress factors.”
Although the airport currently doesn’t track those who come from major surrounding cities to fly, “We always welcome more passengers,” Swanstrom said.
If the numbers continue to trend upwards, Swanstrom does advise that people should start preparing for the holiday travel season. She says to start looking for airfare now, “Try to go ahead and go online go shop for them and find your lowest fares now while you have plenty of time to plan.”
Huntsville international Airport loves that their customers are choosing to remain local when it comes to trust worth travel. So there are a few things you need to know that could affect your holiday plans.
The airport is currently going through a 60-day renovation of Glenn Hearn Boulevard, “That’s the main entry way and exit route for the airport,” they’ll also be working on the economy parking lots.
Swanstrom says when planning ahead allow more time than usual.
“Please allow a little extra time if your flight happens to be when one of those lanes is closed or you might not be able to park at a place that’s your usual parking spot,” she stated.
The airport anticipates finishing work before the busy holiday season, but Swanstrom says to still plan with that in mind.
With more and more passengers departing HSV, Swanstrom says another number that has gone up, the number of items not allowed at TSA checkpoints.
“Folks are wanting to carry on their own alcohol and you can’t do that, so please don’t do that, Swanstrom said. “The other thing is that some people want to travel with their firearm and while that is allowed, the must have it unloaded, it must be in a checked bag and it must be declared prior to that checked bag.”
Of course, if you’re ever unsure of what you can and can not bring on your flight, Swanstrom says to visit the TSA website.