Air travel numbers at Austin-Bergstrom near pre-pandemic levels

While wait times at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport have improved since Memorial Day weekend, the airport wants travelers to know that numbers are nearing pre-pandemic levels.

"They may think, ‘It’s kinda like how it was last year, I can just zip on through,’ but that’s not the case," said spokesperson Bryce Dubee. "Now we’re seeing numbers like we saw in 2019."

Austinite Claudia Garges wasn’t risking it as she waited for her flight to Seattle to see family. "I haven’t gotten to see them in over a year," she said. "I got here at 3 p.m. and my flight’s at 7:30 p.m."

April Healy and her family weren’t taking chances either, arriving three hours early for their flight to Reno. "This is a first time for my grandson, Hudson, he’s never been on an airplane before," said Healy.

Dubee said on Friday alone 27,700 people were expected to travel through Austin-Bergstrom. That number is just 1,000 shy of numbers from Memorial Day weekend in 2019.

The good news is Austin-Bergstrom has been working to expedite the process as much as possible.

"We really worked since we’ve seen everyone coming on board to ramp up those passenger processing procedures, all of our checkpoints are open," said Dubee. "We’ve also worked with our federal partners at TSA to really streamline things to get folks through, particularly in the morning hours."

Dubee said 50 percent of their daily passengers come through in the morning. Travelers should be prepared to come to the airport two and a half hours before their flight if they’re traveling during the peak hours of 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For non-peak times, Dubee suggested arriving one and a half hours early. "Have that plan heading to the airport, figuring out where you're going to park, all of those little pieces are part of just making sure you get to your flight," he said.

Travelers can check security checkpoint wait times and parking lot capacities on the Austin-Bergstrom website ahead of time. Travelers should also be aware that Allegiant and Frontier are located at the south terminal and have their own parking.

For those heading to 4th of July festivities, fireworks are not allowed in carry-ons or checked luggage.

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