Smooth start as Lambert Airport prepares for holiday rush

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ST. LOUIS – It’s one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, but things are running pretty smoothly at Lambert International Airport.

For holiday travelers coming to and from St. Louis, it’s quite a different experience compared to last year.

From late December last year to early January, Southwest Airlines canceled nearly 17,000 flights and left more than 2 million fliers stranded. The airline also scrambled to address luggage issues at Lambert and other airports nationwide.

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Officials expect more than 17,000 flyers to travel out of St. Louis’ Southwest terminal on Friday. So far, things are moving along, and many tell FOX 2 it’s been a good experience.

“No trouble at all,” said Matt Tovle, picking up his son and daughter. “Smooth sailing. They had a little bit of a delay in Jacksonville, but they made up time in the end.”

“It was great,” said Nick Henderson, traveling home to St. Louis from Chicago. “Went up there to do some work and see some friends, but got back here to see some family and friends, and i get to the Braggin’ Rights game tonight. I’m looking forward to it.”

Last year’s troubles, paired with some historically cold days just before Christmas, were still on the minds of some travelers.

“Last year, we were supposed to go to Raleigh, North Carolina, and didn’t make it, canceling because of the delays and weather, so we didn’t make it,” said Shirley Schallberger, traveling out of St. Louis on Friday. “So this year, we were hoping it’d be good traveling.”

Officials report only a few departure delays Friday at the Southwest Terminal.

Something to consider if you plan to travel, the day after Christmas (Dec. 26), an expected 18,000 passengers will pass through Terminal 2. Make sure to give yourself a little more time if you’re flying out ahead of the new year.


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