Airport planes almost full for holiday travel

Travelers prepare to board a plane. / Jessica Fairley

Over the next week thousands of southwest Georgians will head out somewhere around town or even out of town for their Christmas destination and experts predict travel will be up this year.

The Southwest Georgia Regional Airport has filled at least 70 percent of its plane seats for next week.

Since the airport is usually open for Christmas Eve and Christmas day, employees are trained to handle the crowds, but they also want travelers to come prepared.

"We do ask that people still show up early for flights. Even though it might seem like great weather where we are, it might be bad weather someplace else," said Yvette Aehle, Southwest Georgia Airport Director.

With the crowds will come longer lines and limited space. Travelers are asked to be patient and know the rules of the air terminal.

Officials stress no liquids more than two ounces will be allowed aboard the plane and passengers also cannot bring wrapped gifts aboard.

"If they wrap them, they will be opened by the TSA. So the important thing to remember is not to wrap anything," said Yvette Aehle.

For those travelling around town via the transit, those rules change.

"You can take wrapped gifts on the bus. As long as everything fits in a bag," said David Hamilton, Albany Transit System Director.

Although the Albany Transit will shut down on Christmas day, the buses will run through Christmas Eve, giving late shoppers a chance for one last splurge.

"We will run what we call our Saturday schedule which means that the bus will pull out one hour later than usual," said David Hamilton.

Both the Albany Transit and Southwest Georgia Regional Airport are expecting large crowds. As people board a bus or a plane, officials are hoping they take all precautions to stay safe.
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