The September long weekend is becoming a busier travel season at the Edmonton International Airport.
Heather Hamilton, EIA spokesperson, said approximately 20,000 people use the airport every day. But in recent years, the Labour Day long weekend has seen a bump in traffic.
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It is estimated traffic will increase between 10 and 15 per cent during the long weekend. By comparison, Hamilton said the Christmas holidays typically see a 20 to 25 per cent jump in traffic.
“It is extremely busy. Everybody is trying to get in a last-minute holiday. Kids are headed off to school. Students are headed back to university,” Hamilton said.
“It is an unexpected time. I think people think of Christmas. They think of spring break and those are definitely busy periods for us. But a couple years ago, we were a little surprised to see September long weekend is becoming one of the peak periods as well.”
Tiffany Wolters, her husband and two children found themselves at the airport Sunday afternoon as they transited back to their house in Ontario from B.C.
“We went to Myrtle Beach. We visited family in Abbotsford. Now we’re one on our way back to Toronto,” Wolters said.
“[The kids] have to be in school on Tuesday. We want to get back for a day to rest.”
Sean Hogan spent Sunday waiting at the airport with his family for their flight to Victoria. The Edmonton man said the trip was a chance for the family to take a well-deserved break before the unofficial end of summer.
“It was a busy summer. We didn’t get away so we thought we’d get away this weekend,” he said.
“We noticed [the airport] was quite packed. It looks like this plane is full too. It looks like a lot of people are running around.”
While the trend has been on the rise the last couple years, Hamilton said the poor U.S. exchange rate means the airport will not set a record this year like in years past.
Due to the spike in traffic, travellers are urged to arrive at the airport early to allow enough time to get through security.