DFW Airport expects busiest Memorial Day weekend ever

Photo credit Alan Scaia

DFW Airport says 1.1 million people will pass through the airport over Memorial Day weekend. The airport expects an average of 216,000 passengers per day through Tuesday, an increase of 1.7% from 2019, the last Memorial Day before the pandemic.

"We have a lot of advice. Number one: get here early," says DFW Airport's Heath Montgomery. "We tell people to get here two hours before your flight. We really mean it. That's the amount of time research shows you need to park, get through the terminal, check your bags, go through security, make your way to your gate and get a cup of coffee, which is what we want people to do."

Montgomery also urges people to "be an informed traveler." He says people can use their airline's app and the DFW Airport app and website to learn their way around the airport.

People who buy parking ahead of time can save 50%. This week, DFW launched a page that shows real-time availability for parking in each terminal garage.

"I can skip the hassle of driving around, circling around, looking for a spot in the lower levels and go right to the upper levels because I know there are going to be spaces available there," he says. "This is a game-changing tool for people because you're going to be able to make really quick decisions."

DFW Airport expects a record-setting Memorial Day weekend but also expects summer travel as a whole to break a record. The airport is planning for 22.3 million passengers, seven percent more than 2019.

People flying through Thursday said they have noticed the increase.

"This is hectic enough," one man arriving from California said. "I don't do it every week or as much as some people. You have to get used to each airport."

"This place is humongous," his wife said.

Montgomery says airlines are also seeing a shift in business. He says more people are flying for pleasure instead of business. If people have not flown since the pandemic started or are flying with families, they may be slower to get through security.

"We have seen a really significant shift in the types of travel over the last couple of years," he says. "That's especially true during a holiday weekend like this. You're going to see almost everybody flying for personal reasons, visiting friends and family around the country and the world."

People can see current parking availability at dfwairport.com/park/parkingavailability. People can book parking at dfwairport.com/park.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Alan Scaia