Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport prepped for busy travel season

Published: Nov. 20, 2018 at 5:55 PM EST
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The TSA is expecting around 25 million people to fly during the Thanksgiving travel season, and the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport is seeing quite a few of those travelers.

This is the airport's first Thanksgiving travel season with

operated by SkyWest Airlines, and they've seen a huge increase in the number of passengers compared to this time last year.

"This is much busier than it was last year," said Meredith Floor, who is traveling to Chicago. "You know, there were only three or four people then."

Most of the flights are full, and United added some more flights because of the number of passengers coming into the airport.

"United has actually added some flights this weekend in our Saturday schedule, which is usually one of our lighter days," said Greg Campbell, executive director for the airport commission. "They added some additional flights to handle the increased demand that they're seeing this year from the valley."

Some people in the airport today were flying out of SHD for the first time. One traveler we spoke to said they usually flew out of Washington D.C. or Richmond, but this was the best option this year.

"[It's] much easier, more convenient, and less stressful," Katelyn said.

The airport expects this to be one of the busiest holiday travel seasons they've ever seen, and the trend could continue through the rest of the year.

"That trend from the new United SkyWest service continues to lead to some pretty substantial increases in traffic for us, passenger traffic," Campbell said, "and we expect that trend to continue through the holidays this year."

Since there are so many extra travelers, Campbell suggests getting to the airport an hour before the flight. He also suggested looking over the TSA guidelines, especially if you haven't traveled recently.