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Thanksgiving travelers flock to airports as nonstop destinations reach record high

Travelers at CMH

COLUMBUS, OH – Thousands of passengers are taking to the skies for the Thanksgiving holiday as Columbus airports enter an era of unprecedented travel options.

“There’s more to explore than ever before as we celebrate reaching an all-time high of 53 destinations served nonstop from John Glenn International and the Rickenbacker Passenger Terminal,” said Joseph R. Nardone, President & CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. “As passengers make their way home for the holidays, we hope they are inspired to start planning their next trip during this exceptional time for air travel in Columbus.”

Recently added service to San Diego and Kansas City via Southwest Airlines, and Salt Lake City via Delta Air Lines brings the total to 53 destinations served nonstop from John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) and the Rickenbacker Passenger Terminal (LCK). As winter approaches, many popular seasonal routes are available including nonstop flights to warm weather destinations in Mexico, Arizona and throughout Florida.

Over 210,000 departing airline seats are scheduled between Thursday, November 16 and Wednesday, November 29 for CMH and LCK, an 11% increase from 2022. This influx comes as Columbus airports experience traffic levels nearing their busiest year in history, including the busiest September ever recorded. Through October, traffic represents 97% of record 2019 levels.

Busiest travel daysScheduled departing airline seats
Tuesday, Nov. 2117,500
Wednesday, Nov. 2216,700
Sunday, Nov. 2617,300
Monday, Nov. 2717,500

To prepare travelers, the airport authority is sharing these reminders:

  • Make a parking plan know your options before you get to the airport.
  • Arrive early – at least 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and two hours for international.
  • Pack smart – visit to see what you can bring through security.
  • Travel smart – use your airline’s mobile app to check in for your flight, download a mobile boarding pass, and get status updates.
  • Limit time at the curb – help keep things moving by waiting to pick up passengers at the free cell phone lot.
  • Visit – for parking information, shop and restaurant options, and everything else you need to know to prepare for your trip.  

About CRAA

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority connects Ohio with the world by managing and operating passenger-focused John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), cargo-focused Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK), and general aviation airport Bolton Field (TZR). Columbus travelers have access to 53 nonstop destinations via CMH and LCK, more than ever before in airport history. Visit our destinations page to see where we’re flying and stay connected with CRAA online.

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