Salt Lake City Int’l Airport prepares for busy holiday travel days

Dec 21, 2022, 1:06 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City International Airport has been gearing up for big crowds as people head out to see loved ones, spend time as a family, and travel out of town for the holidays.

The busiest travel days for the holiday season are projected to be Thursday, Dec. 22; Friday, Dec. 23; and Monday, Dec. 26. On each of those days, up to 30,000 passengers are expected to come through the airport’s front doors, with more making connecting flights post security.

Mirna Melendez was flying to Guatemala Wednesday morning.

“Very big flight,” Melendez said.

She said the long lines heading in kept her on her toes.

“I did not know if I was gonna make it in time,” she said.

Making memories somewhere new altogether is what passenger Mataya Hugh said she is looking forward to this year.

“We’re going all out this year. Hawaii! I’m really excited,” Hugh said.

Adam Ryan, who is based out of Salt Lake City, works as Delta Air Lines’ managing director and airport operations. He said this time of year is a busy season. 

“You know, it’s what we kind of call our Super Bowl of the travel season as we get into the holidays,” he said. 

Ryan said traveling really picked up Dec. 16, with the fast pace expected to run through Jan. 3. 

With so many people trying to catch flights, he said there’s a method to all of it. 

“We have a team of 23 meteorologists that are monitoring weather real time as well as looking three to five days out so we can make operational adjustments as necessary,” Ryan said. 

No stranger to the cold, he said in Salt Lake, they are also checking de-icing operations to make sure everything is prepped and ready to go when the snow starts flying.

“We have over 30 de-ice trucks to support the operations here.”

To save time, passengers are encouraged to use an airline’s app or website to check in. 

Passengers are asked to hold off on shedding the winter coat right when you step on the plane.

Karen Williams, a Delta Air Lines flight attendant for over 30 years, said they want to ensure your travel experience is as smooth as possible.

“Once everyone’s on board, we can put those heavy winter coats and etc. into the bins to kind of fill the empty spaces. That will really help speed up the boarding process and make sure we have room for everyone’s luggage on board,” Williams said.

Passengers are encouraged to get to the airport two hours before a flight’s boarding time if going on a domestic flight and three hours early if going on an international flight.

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Salt Lake City Int’l Airport prepares for busy holiday travel days