Labor Day travel the busiest since start of the pandemic

Labor Day travel the busiest since start of the pandemic

Tampa International Airport is expecting a busy Labor Day travel weekend with passenger numbers meeting or even exceeding pre-pandemic numbers.

September and October are among two of the slower months at TPA, but airport officials said the demand for air travel continues to grow across the globe, and particularly in the Tampa Bay region.

“Any time there’s a long weekend, we are going to see more travelers,” Emily Nipps, a TPA spokesperson, said. “We expect to see about 60,000 passengers a day through the weekend and some days will be busier than others.”

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TPA said it doesn’t anticipate the widespread delays or cancellations many travelers encountered in the summer, but weather could be a factor. Demetrius Anthony said rain delayed his flight to Detroit on Friday night.

“It is something that I expect and prepare for it,” Anthony said. “That’s kind of why I have my entertainment. I have my chargers, I’m like ready to go. So, I’m not like in the airport, just bored or asleep.”

TPA does have a warning about parking with construction projects underway. The Short-Term garage is expected to be the most impacted, and drivers may be directed to the Long-Term or Economy garages during peak times.

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AAA reported bookings are up 22% compared to last year and more people may opt to drive to their destination this Labor Day with cheaper gas prices.

“Labor Day travel tends to be a little bit more regional because a lot of folks need to be back home on Monday to get the kids back to school on Tuesday. So, you know, gas prices are getting a little bit cheaper. So, It will certainly be a lot more affordable to take that road trip compared to what it was on Independence Day,” AAA spokesperson Mark Jenkins said.

For information about TPA, including flight status, ground transportation, restaurants, nonstop routes and more, go to www.tampaairport.com.

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