What Travelers Should Expect in the Austin Airport’s Busiest Year
By Sloane Wick
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport broke its record for the most passengers in a single day with 43,117 people departing on October 24.
The airport has between 20,000 and 30,000 departing travelers on an average day. Despite the heavy traffic, Transportation Security Administration lines never went over a 30-minute wait.
Airport spokesperson Elizabeth Ferrer said this is twice in one week the airport broke its travel record. The airport has seen a 75.17% increase in passengers this year.
“Since the spring of this year, we’ve had record-breaking travel,” Ferrer said. “We’ve been very close to record-breaking almost every month.”
Earlier this year, the airport’s lines were three hours long at times, causing travelers to miss their flights. To try to prevent this issue from resurfacing, the airport increased staffing, put up more signs and moved line dividers to guide travelers. The focus was specifically for those unfamiliar with the airport.
“In a peak time like this, we have a lot of international visitors and travelers who have never been through this airport before,” Ferrer said. “So, anytime you travel through a new airport, you need a little help getting coordinated.”
Ferrer said there were several causes for this increased level of airport traffic. Formula 1’s 2022 United States Grand Prix 1 attracted nearly half a million attendees, to its Oct. 23 race. The Austin City Limits musical festival had a crowd of 73,042 people attend its final day of concerts Oct. 15. The easing of pandemic travel restrictions contributed to the traffic as well.
“People who are tired of being told they couldn’t travel and locked down has really made people want to travel more so people who haven’t left yet for the first time are going well, I’m gonna go see my family, or I’m gonna go do something that was on my bucket list,” Austin travel agent Loulu Lima said.
Even some frequent travelers through the Austin airport like Sylvia Bova were surprised by the traffic.
“There’s just so many people everywhere. I mean literally from wall to wall, it’s people coming and going and maneuvering in between each other…it’s packed,” Bova said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen it like this. There’s just so many people everywhere.”
The airport will be adding three new gates to help manage future traffic. Until then, Ferrer recommends travelers “pack their patience,” plan ahead and arrive at least two hours before their flights.