Sacramento International Airport expects record-breaking travel numbers this Christmas

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Sacramento — Heading home for vacation? Expect busy airports and flight delays.

Thursday and Friday are the busiest days of the year, according to Sacramento International Airport, with severe storms in the Midwest making travel more difficult nationwide.

A couple heading west from Maryland turned a short travel day into a 22-hour stay at Denver airport.

“I don’t think any flights left past 8:00,” Peyton Burnham said after arriving in Sacramento.

A storm kept their flight on the ground. This is a scare for flyers heading into vacation weekends.

“The blizzard blew so hard that we couldn’t see out the window of the plane,” Burnham said.

She and her partner, Kevin, left Maryland at 4pm on Wednesday and finally arrived in Sacramento. They were greeted by a family who waited patiently for their arrival.

The days leading up to Christmas are expected to be the busiest travel days in an already record-breaking year.

“Of course, the holiday season is the busiest time for the airport,” said Andrea Sandoval, spokesperson for Sacramento International Airport (SMF). I think the time will come,” he said.

She said we should prepare leaflets.

“We expect it to be on par with 2019 levels, so it’s pre-COVID,” Sandoval said.

Last December, 958,000 passed through Sacramento. In December 2020, at the height of the pandemic, that number was just 426,000. Before the pandemic, he had 1.1 million people use the airport in December 2019.

This year, the number of tourists in December is expected to break that record even as storms hit across the country and grounded flights.

“Some flights were affected. There were delays and cancellations,” Sandoval said.

SMF recommends arriving early at the airport for your flight and tracking cancellations and delays via your airline’s email.

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