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Parking spaces at Southwest Florida International Airport filling up for the holidays

Posted at 9:52 AM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 19:42:52-05

FORT MYERS, FLA — This week is expected to be a busy travel week here in Southwest Florida, and at RSW International Aiport, travelers could face some parking problems, as people head out to catch their flights.

The Lee County Port Authority says it is expecting more travelers this holiday season. Airport officials say parking lots are nearing capacity and that parking spaces are not guaranteed for flyers. If you want to avoid parking trouble, the Airport Authority suggests getting dropped off at the airport if possible.

According to the RSW... Over the next two weeks RSW sees an average of 300-350 flights departing daily and over the last few days they've only seen 6 cancellations.

The Communication Manager for Lee County Port Authority, Barbara Anne Urrutia says travel numbers are up and Thursday will be the busiest travel day this week since the most flights and seats are booked for that day... "We're expecting a very busy holiday season we saw Thanksgiving was really busy and we know our flights and our seats are up 7% from December of 2019."

Adding the next busiest days are Sunday and Monday after Christmas with more people coming back to southwest Florida then more people departing again to celebrate the New Year.

Urrutia, "December of 2019 we had over a million passengers so in just this month we may be seeing over a million travelers."

This year, AAA says it expects to see at 34% increase in travel from last year. RSW has already seen a spike in visitors, in October, more than 760,000 people passed through our airport, that's an 85% increase from last October.

One of those holiday travelers, Robyn Orner noticed the uptick in people at the airport on Monday, "I would get here two hours before your flight this particular airport the getting through security is very slow versus where I'm coming from is Cincinatti and going back home you can get through security really fast in Cincinatti here it tends to be a lot slower."

FOX 4 saw an increase of people trying to park in the short and long term parking lots throughout the day on Monday...and if you can't find one when you get here. "There going to have to figure that out they may have to take a couple laps around, parking is very dynamic and it flows it brings people may arrive then take cars out so it changes hour to hour practically," says Urrutia.

Another traveler at the airport on Monday says, "Lots are all full had to go here to the green lot I've been traveling every week for the last 5 years, I've never had to park in the green so really busy!"

Arrive early - at least two hours early since you won't know what the TSA line will look like until you get here.

Also check your bags before going through TSA! People tend to forget about a water bottle in their carry-on or other items that will not get past TSA.

If you are using an airlines APP have your phone out and ready to be scanned along with your ID.

And don't forget about those masks... "We know that you do have to wear a mask at the airport it's a rule for all airports so we're trying to remind people, wear mask in terminal wear mask in planes if there's issues going on in the airlines the other people see that more than we see that," Urrutia.

All these tips can help make sure your travel is a little less stressful and you can be on your way to see your loved ones this Christmas and New Year.

Orner,"I hope you your travels are safe and I hope you have a great enjoyable time with your family and friends. Festive time of year for sure."

Don't forget we may see some changes in weather throughout the day on Tuesday. Make sure you are checking your departure schedule in case of any delays.