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Holiday travel increased this year in Lake Charles

It’s one of the busiest times of the year for travel, even in Lake Charles. The airport said...
It’s one of the busiest times of the year for travel, even in Lake Charles. The airport said they’ve had a significant increase from 2017 to this year.(KPLC)
Published: Dec. 27, 2018 at 11:16 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It’s one of the busiest times of the year for travel, even in Lake Charles. The airport said they’ve had a significant increase from 2017 to this year.

“We’ve really seen a much busier year, up to 12-15 percent this year over last year in terms of passengers," Heath Allen, executive director at Lake Charles Regional Airport, said.

While the year isn’t quite over yet, still awaiting New Year’s travel, Allen said there’s a noticeable difference between this year and last’s numbers.

“The Thanksgiving holiday was very busy. We don’t have the numbers in for Christmas and New Year’s travel, but, based on the parking lot, we’re overflowing. Usually that’s an unscientific way of looking at it. It’s safe to say we’re busier this year than we were last year," Allen said.

One traveler, Jennifer Hoekstra, agreed, saying this is one of the most hectic holiday traveling years she’s seen.

“I travel always, honestly. I travel probably about 200 days a year for my job so I’m in the aiports a lot. I actually try not to travel during the holiday season when I can avoid it because it gets so busy, but this year I wasn’t able to. So I flew last Wednesday last Thursday and then again yesterday and today. So, it’s been busier than I’ve seen it in a long time,” Hoekstra said.

While she said it has been really busy, Hoekstra said she’d also noticed an increase of staff and extra flights to accommodate the season.

“Everything’s been really crowded, actually lots of people on all of the planes. I honestly haven’t been on a plane in the last 10 days that wasn’t completely full. ‘Check your bags early please we’re running out of cargo space please’ basically type of thing," Hoekstra said.

Allen said, despite the chaos the holidays can bring, one motto in the aviation industry rings true, especially during the holidays.

“Of all the places an airplane can take you, the most important is home. We really appreciate that and are glad to provide that service to Lake Charles," Allen said.

He predicts they’ll be busy through the New Year and then it’ll quiet down before it picks up for Mardi Gras.

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