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BWI experiencing record-high number of travelers for the holiday weekend

Santa greets travelers at BWI Airport
Posted at 4:11 PM, Dec 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-23 06:55:43-05

Air travelers should expect long security lines and packed flights at airports around the country this holiday weekend.

At BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, a jolly visitor is working to make the long haul just a little bit lighter. Wednesday through Saturday, Santa will be handing out candy canes to travelers.

"Oh, I love it. I didn't know they were going to have the decorations up and Santa. This is so much fun, [my son] is loving it and it makes a very stressful travel time a little brighter," BWI traveler Victoria Fitch said.

In the last several years, BWI Marshall Airport has experienced an increase in passenger traffic, particularly during the holidays.

"We had an all-time annual record for 2015 with nearly 24 million passengers and we've seen solid growth in 2016. We've actually had 16 straight record months of passenger traffic here at the airport," said Jonathan Dean, spokesman for BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

BWI Marshall is now the busiest airport in the Washington region topping Dulles and Reagan Airports. It's also the 23rd largest airport in the country.

"Our location, it's the strength of the local economy, it's the airline service here. We have excellent airlines, a lot of low fare carriers that serve our customers very well," Dean said.

Even if you're not the one flying, Dean said there will be some delays picking up passengers.

"If you're a local resident headed to the airport to pick up a family member or a friend, particularly during busy times in the evening, you really want to pick up those customers in the upper or departures level of the airport that helps motorists avoid any possible congestion in the lower level," Dean said.

On Saturday, travelers will be able to see Santa on an airport fire truck along the terminal roadway and on the airfield. There will also be musical performers at various locations providing holiday entertainment, according to a press release issued by the airport.

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