Nov 18, 2022 - News

Holiday travel nears pre-pandemic levels

Illustration of a turkey pulling a suitcase.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Northwest Arkansas National Airport is expecting a healthy amount of travel this holiday season, which means you should book flights soon if you're planning on flying, Alex English, XNA spokesperson, tells Axios.

By the numbers: XNA had about 157,000 passengers in October, nearing October 2019's roughly 172,000 travelers.

  • Context: Those figures fell to 63,000 in 2020 and 146,000 in 2021. This includes people flying both to and from XNA, meaning those who flew both ways in the same month were tallied more than once.

What they're saying: English recommends booking tickets six to eight weeks ahead, especially if you want the lowest pricing, as flights are already filling. She also recommends arriving at the airport two hours before your flight because the transit hub gets busier around the holidays.

What's next: XNA is moving forward with projects, such as renovating the lobby and baggage claim, with hopes to start construction in early 2023.

  • The airport's board of directors voted earlier this month to move forward with plans to renovate the terminal next year without the proposed skybridge that would have created a covered walkway from the parking garage to the second floor of the airport, English said.
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