NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Tens of thousands of Lowcountry drivers and flyers are getting ready to travel at the Charleston International Airport for Thanksgiving.
“Me and my wife travel quit a bit. We are retired so every day is a holiday to us,” says Bob Mackenzie, who is traveling from Washington.
“This is not my first time traveling in the last two years. I have flown a couple times,” says Riley Whelan, who lives in Charleston.
Travelers say being fully vaccinated makes it easier for them to make it home for the holiday’s.
“I felt comfortable traveling once I got vaccinated. I actually just got the booster shot, so I’m feeling good about it,” says Mackenzie Strauv, who lives in Charleston.
For some flyers, this holiday season is the first time they are getting on a plane since the pandemic began, but getting to see family and friends for Thanksgiving makes the long wait worth it.
“We haven’t seen our families really a whole ton since they are living in Michigan, but I love the food that’s the number one thing for me,” says Whelan.
Some travelers say this is their first time visiting the Lowcountry.
“We are here for my niece’s wedding and all the family gathered here in Charleston for five days,” says Mackenzie.
Elliot Summey, CEO and Executive Director of the Charleston International Airport says, this year’s Thanksgiving travel numbers will exceed pre-pandemic numbers from 2019 seeing almost a 110% increase.
“Historically, 2019 was the banner year for Charleston. Right now, we think we are going to beat that and we are going to beat it for the upcoming fiscal year coming up too,” Summey says.
The airport expects Sunday to be the busiest day of travel as people are arriving back home and encourage travelers to arrive two hours early before their flight time.