ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Instead of getting off to a flying start, the summer travel season got off to a flying stop Wednesday morning at Lambert Airport after a security breach in Terminal 2. It turned out to be nothing except an inconvenience for passengers who had to wait while the TSA tried to find a passenger who had not completed the security check.
After 30 minutes, the TSA determined there was no threat and the security area was reopened.
That bit of unfortunate news came out on the same day Lambert was announcing good news about passenger boardings.
“It’s great news actually. We’ve seen continual improvement in our passenger traffic,” said Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge.
For the fourth month in a row, Lambert has seen an increase in people flying, with boardings up since the beginning of the year by 3.6%.
“Very heavy, very steady,” said John Masters, a limo driver for Best Transportation.
“It`s great for everybody that`s for sure, everybody wins in that situation,” he said.
For Lambert. April was an especially good month, with passenger boardings up 4.4% compared to April 1011, thanks to several large conventions.
And along with a steady increase in passenger traffic, there has been an increase in departures, suggesting the economy may be improving.
“Usually the trends coincide, so it is nice to think that families are loosening their strings a little bit and saying we can afford to do a little bit more and take the trip we weren`t planning,” said Hamm-Niebruegge, adding, “Businesses are allowing people to go back and have that face to face meeting which is very critical .”
Frequent flier Sandy Davenport says the airport certainly seems busier.
“I have noticed a huge increase when you try to park, and there do seem to be a lot more options to fly out, I am really thankful about that,” she said.
And there will be even more options starting this weekend, with Southwest Airlines adding non-stop service to Panama City Beach, Florida.
But will the summer travel season also be busier?
“We`ve been talking to the airlines, their numbers are strong, so I think we are going to have a great summer,” Hamm-Niebruegge said, adding a word of warning.
“We always encourage people, especially during the summer months when you are traveling with families and traveling with people who may not on a weekly basis get through the airport, allow yourself a little extra time,” she said.
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