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Joplin Regional Airport experiences busier week ahead of Thanksgiving

JOPLIN, Mo.–Officials at the Joplin regional airport say they’re preparing for a surge of travelers this holiday season.

Something they’re already seeing during the week of thanksgiving.

“We are seeing fairly substantial loads going out of here started last weekend and we all anticipate those through the rest of this week,” said Steve Stockam, airport manager for the Joplin regional airport.

The change in the number of travelers was even more noticeable for those traveling, like Rylee Hamblin, who flew from Charlotte to Chicago in order to reach Joplin.

“I’ve been flying since before 2020. It was more packed than last year, for sure…I got to my gate fine, in Chicago is a little different. it’s a lot busier than the charlotte airport, so I had about ten minutes to get to my connecting flight. That was hard”

This is a major shift from last year, according to Stockam.

“Last year we were in the middle of a pretty high Covid peak. There were a lot of folks that chose to stay put. Obviously not getting large gatherings in those types of things. I think those folks that have been vaccinated and have kind of moved on from that situation now are moving around a lot more. And we are seeing fairly substantial loads going out of here started last weekend and we all anticipate those through the rest of this week.”

Stockam adds that the biggest issue travelers may face isn’t at the Joplin Regional airport, but at the many hubs, Joplin flies to like Chicago and Denver.

“I would suggest staying inside security and not going outside because trying to rescreen and get back into security is going to be difficult, especially at some of the major hubs.”

The biggest thing he recommends for all travelers to have this holiday season is patience.

“You’re going to have to be prepared to wait in some of those instances. and I just suggest everyone to be as patient as possible.”

All flights from the Joplin Regional Airport are booked through Sunday ahead of the holiday.

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