It was also one of the busiest days of the year at the airport. And due to new flights offered at the airport, it’s seen a more than 6-percent increase in travel this spring break.
The 11 a.m. flight to Mesa, Arizona was packed with baseball fans heading south.
“We’re going down for spring training, hopefully, and watch a bunch of baseball games,” said Portland resident Derek Melvin.
Some University of Oregon students also joined the baseball fans on the flight.
“I go to school up here, and I’m going back home,” said UO student Caitlynn Baker.
All of these passengers flying out of the eugene airport had to wait in line a bit longer than usual for ticketing and baggage check.
“On an average day we see about 1,100 people departing our airport. So when we have a day that has 1,600 people departing, that’s a good bump in numbers,” said Cathryn Stephens, Eugene Airport spokesperson.
The crowd of people jet setting from Eugene were from as far away as Portland.
“I think we got a better deal going through Eugene airport than we did in Portland, so we decided to go through here,” Melvin said.
Passengers say cheap fares are what draw them to the Eugene Airport.
“It has a direct flight to Mesa, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than the other flights,” said Baker said.
“Our flight prices are very competitive now. Our average roundtrip fare difference is only $8 for a domestic flight compared to the wonderful airport up north,” Stephens said.
So as the Eugene Airport expands and offers more services, airlines and the TSA will continue to increase staff for these busy days. The airport recommends passengers arrive two hours early for flights on these peak days. Some passengers who arrived an hour early told KEZI 9 News they weren’t worried about missing their flights.