‘We are bouncing back’: Hopkins Airport expecting to see pre-pandemic level holiday travel season

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CLEVELAND (WJW) – This week marks the beginning of the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel season at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

“It’s wonderful to see the facility, to see people traveling to see loved ones,” said airport director Robert Kennedy.

Kennedy said Hopkins is anticipating 280,000 air travelers over the next 10 days.

“Last year was a dark year for us. This year we are bouncing back. In fact, we are going to be above what we were in 2019 and that was a record year for us,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy said Cleveland is leading above the national average for airport recovery.

“We will have extra people on the floor. TSA is bringing in extra people, putting extra people at the security checkpoints,” said Kennedy.

AAA predicted that Thanksgiving travel this year will look a lot like it did two years ago.

“More than 53 million will be traveling this Thanksgiving weekend, 48 million of them by car. This is 13% more than 2020.  We are within 5% of 2019 pre-pandemic levels,” said Lynda Lambert, with AAA.

Airport officials said be prepared for crowds at the airport, especially on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which is the busiest travel day of the year, followed by Wednesday and Tuesday.

Kennedy also recommended people arrive at the airport two hours ahead of their flight.

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