Apr 26, 2023 - News

Cleveland Hopkins braces for summer travel madness

It's going to be a hot and busy summer at the airport. Photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is predicting as many as 1 million travelers will fly out of the airport in July, the first time in more than a decade the airport would reach that mark.

Why it matters: In recent weeks, TSA and airlines have predicted a record number of travelers could pass through U.S. airports this summer, setting the stage for a nightmare summer travel season.

  • This comes as several airlines, including Frontier, Alaska and Aer Lingus, are adding flights at Hopkins.

The intrigue: While Cleveland adds flights, the FAA is letting airlines fly fewer flights to reduce stress on the national airspace system without the risk of losing their "slots," Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick reports.

  • Normally, airlines must operate a certain number of flights to prevent their slots — essentially permission slips to service particular airports — from being reassigned to rival carriers.

Meanwhile, travelers at Hopkins will also encounter construction in the Smart Parking Garage, which connects to the airport via a skywalk.

  • From 1,000 to 2,000 of the garage's 7,000 total parking spaces will be unavailable throughout the summer.
  • The airport has opened a temporary Grey Lot with 1,000 parking spaces north of the terminal on Old Grayton Road; that lot requires shuttle service.

What they're saying: Dejan Radosavljevic, assistant commissioner of airport operations, tells Axios the travel increase is "encouraging" and that Hopkins will be ready.

  • "We've been having stakeholder meetings with airlines, so we know what to expect," he says, "We're handling everything on the front end as much as we can so passenger flow is as smooth as possible."
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