MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Officials with the Myrtle Beach International Airport are reporting a record numbers of passengers who have come through the airport.
The total passenger numbers are up by nearly 20,000 people, a more than 7 percent increase over July of last year.
Compared to any other month-to-month comparison, Kirk Lovell, spokesperson for the airport, said July is by far the big winner, but the question is how to keep these passengers happy enough to come back.
"So we are looking as we go into late summer and into fall, how do we greet those passengers who are coming in, the golfers and the empty nesters? Those folks," Lovell said
Lovell added that a big element is the wait times, and though TSA lines have gotten better with its decision to pay overtime and bring on additional staff, he said the lines can still be long.
"For example, this Saturday we're expecting about 4,500 people to depart the airport, and on Sunday about 5,400. So there are still a lot of people going through the airport," Lovell said.
Despite the signs, not many people have shown interest in the TSA pre-check option, according to Lovell.
"Yeah, you need to follow that, so it's saving your time and your energy a little bit," Sergii Soshka, a flyer, said.
Though he experienced short lines at MYR Friday, Soshka said the few extra minutes he saves by using pre-check go a long way. It even gives him time to answer calls.
"Five minutes, but it's really too good for me because these five minutes I can use if I'm getting late for my flight or to respond to people requesting my presence in Miami Beach," he said.
Soshka is one of the few who used the TSA pre-check at the airport Friday, but by offering sign-up sessions at the airport, the hope is more travelers will.
"People can actually register through the TSA, and it lets them cut in front of the line, and when they get in front of the line, they get to keep their shoes on and their computer in their bags," Lovell said.
The sign-ups at MYR will be from Sept. 12 through Sept. 16.