NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Fourth of July is sparking a busy weekend at Charleston International Airport.

On the national level, AAA predicts the share of people traveling by air will be the lowest since 2011. It’s a different story here in Charleston.

“Certainly, we’re seeing a surge in traffic, but we’ve been seeing that surge for a couple of months. May was a record month for us, June we think will be the biggest June we ever had,” said Charleston International Airport CEO Elliott Summey. “Certainly, this will be the biggest Fourth of July weekend we ever had.”

According to Summey, the airport is seeing about a 20% higher volume than it did in 2019. He said the busiest days this holiday weekend will be Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. He expects 20,000 people to pass through the airport each of those days.

“We had a string of bad luck in May – in eight days had three flights canceled,” said Brody Garrity, who was relieved his flight from New York wasn’t canceled on Friday.

As airline customers continue to face delays and cancellations, AAA said the best thing to do is be prepared. If you used a travel agent, they suggest contacting them if your plans were changed.

They also advise to pack light and avoid checking a bag if possible.  

“We all know there’s going to be delays, there’s going to be cancellations. We’ve seen it and it’s happening nationwide. When the pandemic hit, a ton of pilots took a leave of absence, or they retired. So, we still haven’t gotten back as far as staffing is concerned,” said Tiffany Wright with AAA Carolinas.

Fliers arriving in Charleston on Friday said they were concerned about the cancellations, but said they had a smooth trip this weekend.

“I traveled last week, and my flight got canceled twice so I had to spend an extra day so I’m glad it wasn’t canceled today,” said Johnnie Holloway who flew in from New Jersey.

Abigail Waddill visited from New York and said her experience was great.

“It’s been the first flight that I’ve been on that hasn’t been delayed or canceled in like months,” said Waddill.

Airport officials recommend arriving two hours ahead of your flight. Since parking is filling up, they opened the Economy B lot.