MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An already-busy travel week is now complicated by the weather out east.
People in Minnesota and across the country are affected by the massive snowstorm hitting New York, Boston and Washington, D.C.
Airlines canceled thousands of flights Tuesday, including dozens at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Patrick Hogan, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, says this was already expected to be a busy week for airports, as spring break season gets underway.
“When you have an issue at major airports in any place in the country, it has a ripple effect on other major airports,” Hogan said. “There are about 60 flights that were cancelled here today mostly to destinations on the east coast.”
On top of that, MSP expects a massive week for spring break travel, especially Friday, when the airport estimates a new record for travel this time of year will be set.
“We’ll probably have 120,000, 130,000 people on a given day traveling through MSP,” Hogan said.
He says a typical, busy travel day would bring closer to 100,000 people through the terminals.
“The economy of the state is very good, the economy of the nation is very good, people have a little more disposable income that they can spend on travel,” Hogan said. “Another thing that we’re seeing have is we have an increase in service from low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines, so people who didn’t think they could afford to travel now can.”
Hogan recommends travelers do their part this week and get to the airport about two hours before a flight, in addition to learning what they can about getting through security checkpoints efficiently.
Hogan says the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airport staff are well-prepared for the rush.
“We’ve seen some increased staffing by the Transportation Security Administration, a little more flexibility in their staffing,” Hogan said “They’ve added more K-9 teams, and one of the big things that’s helped is a lot of people have signed up for TSA pre-check.”
Wednesday is also expected to be very busy since the cancelled flights from Tuesday will need to be rescheduled.
The airports commission also recommends anyone using short-term or long-term parking this week to plan ahead because those ramps may reach capacity.