Austin-Bergstrom International Airport expects about 21,800 people will fly out today. That's far more than this year's Austin City Limits Festival exodus (some 18,000 people on Oct. 15).
ABIA processed more than 9,000 passengers between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. That’s about 3,700 more people than during that same period (actually 4 a.m. to 8 a.m.) last week.
To help with increased demand, airlines added seven flights and sent bigger planes to Austin, adding a total of more than 2,500 seats. Chartered flights included 747 and 767 jets.
The airport expects to stay busy all week as F1 fans continue to fly out and holiday travel begins.
ABIA officials say Wednesday will be the busiest travel day, with a total of 36,000 people coming and going. They say passengers should arrive two hours before their flight.
“Should anything, a snag come up in security that makes the line longer, or if more passengers come in all at once – you never know what’s going to happen," ABIA spokesman Jim Halbrook says. "That makes it easier for you to be in line, be comfortable about it, not being worried that you’re going to make it to your flight or not, get through the line and make it to your gate on time."
The airport has opened up an additional security checkpoint and has extra TSA staff on hand to help manage the crowds and keep lines and people moving efficiently.