Myrtle Beach International Airport braces for busy travel weekend

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Memorial Day is fast approaching and airports are preparing for an influx of passengers this weekend. According to AAA, 29% of Americans plan to go somewhere this holiday with an estimated 1 million people expected to pass through U.S. airports.

Myrtle Beach International Airport typically sees an increase of around 22% in seat capacity during Memorial Day Weekend which equates to roughly 74,000 more seats open for booking.

Airport officials say the peak travel days are Thursday through Tuesday. During those days, the terminals and gates are busiest between the hours of 10 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon and 3 o'clock through 6 at night.

If you're among those planning to fly out—you're encouraged to pack your patience and give yourself extra time ahead of your flight.

"No matter what time of day we really encourage passengers to arrive two hours prior scheduled departure time. This way they have plenty of time to find parking, check in with the airlines, get through security checkpoint and get to their flight. We don't want people missing their planes," said Kirk Lovell, Director of Air Service and Business Development for Myrtle Beach International Airport.

Lovell says MYR is already seeing a lot of activity this year, and they only expect to see more as summer travel kicks off this weekend.

"It started in February, our numbers are up significantly. The first four months we're already up 18  percent in passenger levels...parking lots are already full, we've actually opened up an additional 300 parking spots a couple of weeks ago to try to accommodate the demand but we're still running short on parking," he said.