Thousands travel through Charlotte Douglas International day after Christmas


CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) — Charlotte Douglas International Airport is seeing more flyers this holiday season and that could mean longer wait times for you. 
The number of people flying this holiday season is expected to increase by four percent nationwide, according to Airlines for America, a trade organization. 

“It was a bit easy going before,” said Ronnel Ramirez, from Columbia, South Carolina. “It’s picking up again. It’s getting busier again.”

Ramirez and his two boys, aged eight and six, are among the 31,000 people airport officials say flew out of Charlotte Douglas the day after Christmas. 

This is the busiest time of the year behind Thanksgiving. Despite long lines and at least a dozen delayed flights, officials say they are ready for the crowds.

“Everything is going very smoothly,” said Kevin Douglas, the TSA Federal Security Director for Charlotte Douglas. “We plan for weeks with the airport and the airlines.”

This year, the airport is seeing new, tighter security measures along with additional TSA screeners who were brought in to handle the peak crowds. 

On Friday, a loaded gun was confiscated from a carry-on bag. It was one of 68 firearms taken since January and an increase over the 54 firearms confiscated last year. 

Vrushali Tandulkar arrived almost 10 hours early for her flight. Her feet kicked up on her luggage, she recognizes she’s in for “a long sit” but, on this day, one of the busiest of the year, she isn’t taking any changes. 

“Are you ready to go back home?,” asked Fox 46 reporter Matt Grant.

“Yeah,” she said.

Nearly 120,000 passengers are expected to fly out of Charlotte Douglas between now and New Year’s Eve. Officials recommend arriving two hours early. 

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