SALT LAKE CITY — With the Fourth of July holiday weekend just days away, the Salt Lake City International Airport is expecting big crowds and long lines as travelers head out of town.
Thursday and Friday should be the busiest days, with over 27,000 people visitors predicted to use the airport, a far cry from the small crowds seen just two years ago at the start of the pandemic.
In all, nearly 48 million people are predicted to travel more than 50 miles away from home this weekend, according to AAA.
With so many people trying to leave town at the same time, airport officials are asking passengers to arrive two hours ahead of domestic flight departures and three hours for international flights. But most of all, travelers are reminded to be patient.
"The airlines are a little short staffed, and so it's one of those situations where people need to be patient when they're traveling through the airport because their flight could be delayed, some flights may be canceled," said airport spokesperson Nancy Volmer.
Now the 20th busiest airport in the country, Salt Lake City International Airport has undergone many changes over the past two years, so visitors unfamiliar with the layout should be prepared.
"I think with the new airport, too, it's really important for people to look at our website, at the map, just to get a sense for the new airport configuration," Volmer said.
She said that while many people are familiar with the main security checkpoint, many may not realize there is a backup checkpoint on the first level.
There is also a newly added "Sky Squad" that assigns as assistant to parents, seniors, and people with disabilities who may need help navigating the airport, getting through security, or carrying bags.
This service can be booked in advance or while at the airport.
Looking ahead, the airport is working to add more signs that will help people navigate the new terminal and get them to their gates more quickly during busy holiday travel times.