Passenger traffic increases as holiday travel returns to STL

Passenger numbers could be near 2019 levels

November 19, 2021 | 2 min reading time

The number of travelers at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) during the upcoming holiday is expected to be near or above pre-COVID numbers over the course of the next 11 days. Current projections from Friday, Nov. 19, through Monday, Nov. 29, are down only 13.5 percent from 2019.

“We are excited passenger numbers are returning closer to our 2019 levels,” said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Airport Director. “Some days are even projected higher. So if you’re headed home for the holidays, please plan for increased traffic in and around the airport.”

Traveler Basics

To improve the travel experience for seasoned pros and newbies alike, STL reminds all travelers:

  • Give yourself extra time. Arrive 90 minutes to two hours early for flights.
  • Be ready for security checkpoints. STL and TSA want to help you move through security checkpoints as quickly as possible. Travelers are required to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from carry-on luggage. Also, remove foods and liquids from your carry-on luggage, prepare to hold up your boarding pass for review, and wear your mask.
  • Check traffic. Visit the Missouri Department of Transportation’s website to see if there are any road construction projects that might hinder your access to the airport.
  • Riding Metro to the airport. If you are using Metro Transit to reach the airport you MUST wear a face mask to help protect transit riders and employees from the spread of coronavirus.

COVID Requirements

  • Facemasks are mandatory at U.S. Airports. U.S. Government Agencies require masks to be worn over your nose and mouth at all times per federal law.
  • Masking is a requirement on airplanes, and TSA has doubled fines for passengers who refuse to wear a mask.
  • If you’re sick, stay home. If you have symptoms, protect yourself and others by not traveling.
  • Check travel guidance. Check with your airline regarding any rules you need to know for where you plan to travel.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers will still need to complete pre-departure testing, within 3 days prior to departure to the U.S. and show proof of a negative test. Unvaccinated travelers returning to the United States will need to test within one day of departure and will be required to test again after their arrival.   
  • Keep informed. The FAA has created a site that walks passengers through every step of the process: plan your travel; at the airport; aboard the aircraft; arrival at your destination, and returning home.

By the Numbers

  • Travel will be closer to 2019 holidays with some days projected even higher.
  • The busiest days are projected to be Sunday, Nov. 28 (18,332 projected passengers), Wednesday, Nov. 24 (17,391), and Tuesday, Nov. 23 (17,040) *Number of passengers entering TSA security checkpoints. Doesn’t reflect connecting passenger numbers. 

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