NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston International Airport saw 28,000 more passengers over the Fourth of July weekend, 2021 than the same weekend last year. Airport officials tell News 2, they expect those numbers to continue increasing as the summer goes on.

Deputy Director for the Charleston International Airport, Spencer Pryor, says there was an overall different atmosphere last year. He recalls never having seen the airport so empty and quiet, with only one employee — if that — at each ticket counter.

This past holiday weekend was a different scene entirely.

We are back and we are back strong.  


The numbers from the holiday weekend prove that the Lowcountry is finally making its comeback. Data shows that passenger increases fluctuated between a 120% and 300% increase in comparison to 2020.

Pryor says the increase in number a testament that many are getting their vaccines and “they are feeling comfortable, there is a pent-up demand for travel that is there, and folks are doing what they need to do to get back to some sense of normalcy.”

Those traveling say that things felt almost back to normal.

While flights were full, passengers tell News 2 that they felt safe as all followed the federal mandate to keep their masks on. A small price to pay, for a vacation in the Lowcountry.

Even more, Pryor says this is just the start of a busy tourism season for the greater Charleston area, “we will probably exceed 2019, pre-covid numbers. We expect to see passengers here throughout the summer…but just based on what we’ve seen so far, we are definitely on track to hit that record.”

Pryor also says as the numbers of passengers go up, the airport and TSA are reminding all to arrive at least 90 minutes ahead of their scheduled flight time.