STL’s Peak Christmas Holiday Travel Day is Friday, December 21

More People Flying through St. Louis This Year as Traveler’s Wrap Up 2018

December 19, 2018 | 2 min reading time

This article is 4 years old. It was published on December 19, 2018.

The peak day for Christmas holiday travel in 2018 at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) will be Friday, December 21. On that day alone, more than 22,000 passengers will be checking-in and clearing one of the airport’s four checkpoints.

STL is projecting a four percent increase in passenger check-ins over a 13-day period that includes the weekend before Christmas through the January 2, 2019. Over that time, 225,000 passengers are expected to check-in and clear security, versus 216,000 a year ago.

Wednesday, December 26 and Thursday, December 27 are projected to be STL’s second and third busiest travel days over the holiday travel period, with more than 21,000 passenger check-ins.

Those projections do not include connecting passengers. Terminals and gate areas will be even more crowded with connecting passengers who have cleared security at their originating airports.

Connecting passengers account for more than 22 percent of STL’s total passenger activity. Connecting passenger activity has increased 19 percent at STL in the last year.

The Christmas season travel period comes off the heels of the Thanksgiving holiday, which helped STL’s November 2018 passenger activity grow by 5.1 percent. More than 1.3 million passengers traveled through STL in November, versus 1.2 million a year ago. Through November, STL has served nearly 14.4 million passengers versus 13.6 million in the first 11 months of 2017. Click here for latest passenger statistics.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is predicting a six percent increase in passengers traveling through screening checkpoints over the next two weeks at U.S. airports. Some airports will see higher volumes of activity and potentially longer wait times at check-in and security screening. The Airport, TSA and the airlines recommend the following travel tips.

  • Arrive two hours ahead of scheduled boarding time, especially if checking luggage or flying internationally.
  • Check the status of all flights to and from STL as updated by the airlines here.
  • Visit to search what items can and cannot be brought through the TSA security checkpoint, such as liquids, which must be in 3.4 ounce or less containers. Learn more about TSA accepted forms of identification, or traveling with children, medical conditions or disabilities, at
  • Learn more about TSA accepted forms of identification, or traveling with children, medical conditions or disabilities, at
  • Do not wrap holiday gifts. They should remain unwrapped for air travel.
  • Be prepared to take out and screen electronic devices separate from you luggage, including laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles.
  • TSA officers may instruct travelers to separate food, powders and other materials from their bags that could obstruct imaging from X-ray machines.
  • TSA Pre-Check is available at all checkpoints with participating airlines.
  • Wheelchair assistance is provided by the airlines at no cost. This can be a big help for limited mobility or elderly travelers. For the best accommodation, contact the airline in advance to request a passenger assist agent.
  • If picking up a passenger at STL airport, use one of the free cell phone lots instead of the parking garages. Terminal 1 passenger pickup zone is temporarily located in the Terminal 1 Garage due to a roadway construction project.
  • If parking at STL, visit for all options and real-time parking availability.
  • Contact Information:
    Jessica Black
    Public Relations Officer
    Office Phone: (314) 426-8097
  • Department:
    St. Louis Lambert International Airport
  • Topic:

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