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Austin airport faces delays as holiday travel begins to pick up

Officials say Saturday's thunderstorms caused the delays and several cancelations.

AUSTIN, Texas — Travelers flying to or from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) have had to wait longer than anticipated due to early Saturday storms rolling through Central Texas. The storms created a ripple effect, causing flight delays and cancelations for the rest of the day.

According to the ABIA real-time arrival and departure site, as of 6:15 p.m. Dec. 18, many flights were still behind schedule and a few were canceled.

Travelers looking to pass through checkpoints didn't have to wait long Saturday evening though, with all three checkpoints reporting a 3- to 7-minute wait time.

RELATED: Austin airport tells travelers to arrive early if they're flying for Christmas or New Year's

Even with weather delays and cancelations, airport officials told KVUE that holiday travel hasn't picked up just yet, as they estimate about 27,000 people traveled through the airport on Saturday. For comparison, ABIA reported one of its busiest days on record the Sunday before Thanksgiving this year, with more than 32,000 flyers screened by the TSA. 

But they expect it will only get busier as Christmas and New Year's approach. 

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ABIA said it is expecting the peak travel period to last from Dec. 17 and Jan. 4 of next year, and is therefore advising travelers to arrive early and allow plenty of time to move through the airport, especially before 9 a.m.

Travelers are advised to arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights. People traveling with gifts this holiday season are asked to leave them unwrapped, as they may need to opened for inspection.

Masks are required inside both terminals over the age of 2, as the TSA has extended the face mask requirement through March 18, 2022.


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