NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Passengers coming through the Nashville International Airport for Thanksgiving travel are reaching pre-pandemic numbers. The airport estimates 60,000 people traveled in and out of BNA Wednesday, and the airport said it may hit an all-time record for departures by the end of the weekend.
While people said they are excited to see their families for Thanksgiving, we all know that traveling doesn’t always go according to plan. “My day was going great up until now,” Vincent Hampton of Smyrna said. Hampton said his day at BNA is off to a rough start. “Everything was easy and simple,” Hampton said. “Then, I checked my pockets and can’t find my phone.”
Hampton said he thinks he left his cell phone in the seat of the ride share that dropped him off at the airport. “I forgot to pick it up,” Hampton said. “I didn’t realize it until I got here to check in.”
Hampton is one of tens of thousands of people who checked in to flights Wednesday at BNA as the airport said it is trending higher than pre-pandemic numbers. BNA said it is seeing a 10 percent increase in passenger volume this month compared to November 2019. The airport said it could break its all-time record for departures Sunday expecting more than 33,000 people to take off.
“I did get my booster today,” Olivia Prosak, who is traveling home for Thanksgiving, said. “I feel safe to travel. I am going to be going home and having that extra safety net of knowing I am not going to be spreading anything to family or friends.”
Some families who usually travel for Thanksgiving said they sat out last year due to COVID and are excited to be on the move again. “Some of us are vaccinated,” Dana Edwards, who is traveling with her family, said. “Just know that we have a year behind us with more experience and how to take precautions, we feel comfortable this year.”
As for Hampton and his travel woes, he said he is staying positive. “Lord willing, things will come together,” Hampton said.
If you happen to have found Hampton’s phone, email reporter Courtney Allen at Courtney.Allen@WSMV.com to get in touch with Hampton.
Officials at BNA are encouraging everyone to arrive at least two hours early as traffic and parking are more challenging than they have been.