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Eugene Airport sees busiest holiday season yet

Andrew Martz, assistant airport director, said the busiest times are those early morning flights and midday.

Posted: Nov 24, 2021 7:26 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Whether you're hitting the road or taking to the skies this holiday weekend, you'll want to pack plenty of patience.

Eugene Airport officials said their passenger projections are showing a 13% increase in travelers this week compared to 2019 and a 51% increase from last year’s holiday season. The parking lot was at 85% capacity this morning. But they said they don’t get worried until it starts to reach 95%.

Assistant airport director Andrew Martz said the busiest times are those early morning flights and midday.

“Get here early; you definitely don’t want to cut your time short,” Martz said.

He said to arrive at least two hours before your flight, especially if you’re checking bags.

"Security lines can be a little bit longer this year, so you want to make sure you get here with plenty of time,” Martz said.

Martz said it’s wise to check in online and have a friend or rideshare drop you off.

Because many university students are headed home, all fights are full, Martz added.

"I haven't had any issues so far; yeah super friendly, everyone knows we go to school at U of O, so they're helping us out,” said traveler Mia Caldwell.

But since June, the airport has seen a record number of passengers following the addition of three new airlines, so they were well prepared. Martz said they are not surprised because of how busy the holiday season already is.

Some passengers KEZI spoke with agree.

“Honestly, not as crowded as I expected with this being the Thanksgiving weekend, so it's a kind of pleasant surprise for sure,” said traveler Bijan Hassanzadeh.

Many said they made sure to arrive early to avoid any lines or delays. Jeffrey Squires said he even arrived three hours early.

"Because I've had bad experience with holiday travels, I made sure to get here so I didn't miss my flight,” Squires said.

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