Tyler Pounds Regional Airport prepares for holiday travel boom
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Manager Steve Thompson is preparing for the influx of travelers for the expected busy holiday season.
“Even with the new variants coming out, there’s still indications that that pent-up travel demand is kind of coming to a head. As far as bookings, planning, we’re staffing for even larger numbers than we’ve seen in the past 18 months,” Thompson said, noting that the Sunday after Thanksgiving saw about a 50 percent increase in travelers in comparison to the average day.
Thompson also identified a change in attitude of travelers overall.
“Some of those things that in the past might have been a little bit of an issue or a problem, whether it be a slight delay, or maybe a line or something like that that normally would have caused some concern with folks, people just seemed genuinely happy to be able to be here and to be able to get out,” he said.
As for the airport, the most preparation comes in with the staff.
“It’s a really intricate juggling act to make sure our small staff is prepared and available to serve the traveling needs,” Thompson said, emphasizing that they are ready for the boom. “The facility is really built to handle much more traffic than we have right now so we have a good deal of room to expand.”
His advice to travelers: Plan ahead, arrive early and be patient.
“Inevitably there is going to be some type of challenge in your journey, and when you realize the folks that are there working are doing their best to support your travel journey, and treat them with compassion, respect,” Thompson said.
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