NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Many in the Midstate began catching flights on Thursday going out of town for a Memorial Day weekend getaway.

Experts said this is one of the busiest travel seasons and Nashville International Airport is seeing a major uptick in volume of passengers this weekend compared to this time last year.

The airport said it will likely reach almost 50,000 total passengers in and out of the airport on Thursday and Friday, a large jump from the same time last year when that number was about 8,000 passengers per day.

Whether passengers have been flying through the pandemic or not, they’re glad to take flight this weekend.

“This is my first time egregiously flying. Generally, I’ve been pretty picky so I’ve flown one other time and drove everywhere else,” said Larry Gooch III, who was flying to Los Angeles and Seattle on Thursday. “I would say cautiously excited. I’m glad to see things are opening up. I enjoy traveling. I have a passport to fill. To that end, I enjoy safety precautions.”

Grace Fredstrom, who said she has been flying through most of the pandemic, is also excited to catch a flight this weekend to see loved ones.

“It feels great. I absolutely love it,” said Fredstrom, who was flying to Grand Rapids, MI. “I’m just excited to see everybody out and about, and actually going to see their family. It seems like the sadness around is decreasing a bit.

With the uptick in volume, the airport is asking passengers to arrive early for their flight and allowing extra time for things like parking and getting through security.

The airport is also reminding passengers flying this weekend to remember right now there are two terminals at Nashville International Airport. Passengers should know their airlines and make sure they end up at the right terminal.

Fredstrom said her recent flights have been full, but she is OK with that and wearing the masks.

“I’m good with it. I don’t mind at all doing what we can to be safe, but otherwise, we got to get back to normal a little bit,” said Fredstrom.

Another reminder is federal law still requires passengers to wear a mask at terminals, on flights and on airport shuttles.


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