Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport expects 10,000 daily passengers Memorial Day weekend

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – If you’re flying out of the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport this weekend, officials say you should give yourself some extra time.

An airport spokesperson says the number of people hitting the friendly skies for business or pleasure is now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

On the cusp of a busy Memorial Day weekend, WSAV News 3 is gauging how people are feeling about getting on an airplane.

“I think I am starting to get a little bit more comfortable,” said Natalie Brown, who flew in from Baltimore.

One traveler say’s her vaccination status makes traveling less stressful.

“I’ve been vaccinated since February 8th so…I feel safe,” said Michigan native Ruth Zylstre.

The passenger comfort level has increased since 2020, when the airport saw a low of 300 passengers a day.

“We’ve come a long, long way since then,” said Lori Lynah, marketing director of the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

“This weekend, we are going to be well over 10,000 passengers a day, and we’re starting to see more and more days that are that busy.”

Lynah says the airport is busier now than it was at this time in 2019.

The heavy traffic means travelers should arrive two hours before their scheduled flight times to avoid any mishaps.

“That’s because the lines do back up during the busy times,” said Lynah.

Brown says, for her, getting to the airport early is a must.

“I have been going out super early to travel because the wait times have been pretty crazy,” said Brown.

Despite the vaccine rollout, masks are still required in the airport and on planes. At this point, you do not have to show proof of your vaccination status.

“I don’t think that should be in place right now,” said Brown, who is vaccinated.

Zylstre says carries her vaccine card with her even though it’s not required.

“I got my vaccination card in my passport just in case, but I think, especially out of the country, I think they should show it,” said Zylstre.

On Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp took a firm stance on the matter, banning state agencies, state service providers and state properties from requiring coronavirus vaccine passports.

“It wouldn’t apply to the airline itself that would be something that would be handled by the airline,” said Lynah.

She says anyone traveling this weekend should expect to wait about 30 minutes to get through security.

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