RSW sees easy flying during record number of holiday travelers

Reporter: Anika Henanger
Published: Updated:
Plane lifts off for flight. Photo via CBS News.
Plane lifts off for flight. Photo via CBS News.

There are few delays at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) for holiday air travelers. Security lines aren’t too long, and you might be able to squeeze in a few more minutes packing bags. This may be a surprise given a recent report.

One in three Americans will travel this holiday season, adding up to approximately 7 million people flying, which is the most on record according to AAA.

One of those travelers flying in from Chicago is Lucy McClain. She is part of the record-breaking number of air travelers during the holiday season, the most in the past 15 years.

“It was packed to the brim,” McClain said. “Yeah, no seats open on our flight.”

Seats will be filled today and the day after Christmas, two of the busiest days of the season. That’s why Oleg Levytskyy said he is not taking any chances.

“I don’t wanna get stuck in the changeover,” said Levytskyy , who is taking a direct flight to Toronto. “I learned before if you get on the flight that has a connection, you have very little time to switch in between.”

But in the middle of the bustle, RSW installed upgrades such as new water fountains with automatic water bottle sensors and changing tables in gender neutral bathrooms.

“If there’s a dad that’s there to help … he can take a kid and change a diaper,” Danielle Leiser said. “Or we can go together as a family.”

A room for nursing mothers opens in January, which means smoother travels for moms like Leiser, who has a baby on the way.

“It would help out a lot,” Leiser said. “It’s always hard traveling with kid, so anything to help out the moms and the families.”

Families like the Truharts are excited for the terminal expansion project bringing a new gate, a consolidated checkpoint and space for more restaurants. However, that is a project three years away from completion.

An upgrade ready for travelers to enjoy now is an increase doubling the number of outlets for electronics in terminal and gate areas.

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