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GSP expects increase in passengers for Thanksgiving

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Officials with Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport said airlines are expecting a slight increase in the number of passengers coming in and out of the airport this holiday weekend.

According to airport spokeswoman Rosylin Westin, airlines are expecting a little over 31,000 passengers from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Sunday after. That is an increase over last year where just over 28,000 passengers were in the terminal.

“The week of Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest of the year, so we are prepared for that,” Westin said.

In November 2015, the airport had over 85,000 passengers in and out of the terminal, a 7.6% increase over November 2014.

The airport is close to completing its $125 million terminal upgrade project and Westin said that allows the airport to handle any increase in passenger count.

One concern for the holiday weekend is parking. Westin said the airport does have a plan to address overflow parking, if it is needed. She said officials have identified an overflow parking lot and the means to move passengers to and from that lot. But for now, she said, there is parking available.

In addition, she said those arriving early to pick up passengers should utilize the cell phone parking lot rather than attempting to park curbside of the terminal.

“That cuts down on the congestion at the curb and keeps us in compliance with the rule that the area is for loading and unloading only,” Westin said.

She also suggested getting to the airport early and starting the travel process with packing at home.

“Be prepared for when you get to the checkpoint,” Westin said. “That just makes the process run a lot quicker and smoother for everyone.”

The terminal upgrade included centralizing the security checkpoint. Now, all passengers go through one checkpoint before entering the terminals. Each concourse now has an automated teller machine and there are new food and beverage options in each concourse.

“We have done some things to help the passenger experience and we hope passengers who have not been to GSP will be pleasantly surprised with the changes we have made,” Westin said.

She stressed the importance of checking the destination of a flight for any potential delays due to weather.

Reach Matthew Clark at 864-720-1222.

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