High demand for travel combined with significant construction brings problems to Bush Airport

Pooja Lodhia Image
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Houston airport leader admits issues caught him off guard
The travel rush at Houston's airports is a welcome sight, but the crowds and bottlenecks that are delaying travelers from getting to terminals even caught the airport system off guard, as our partners at the Houston Chronicle first reported.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- You can add a massive construction project to the list of traveling hassles through canceled flights, long wait times, and lost bags in Houston.

It's been a painful summer for air travelers, and now, the head of the Houston Airport System is admitting to our ABC13 partner, The Houston Chronicle, that airport problems caught even him off guard.

Analysts predicted that air travel wouldn't be back in full swing until 2024 or 2025 since the pandemic hit in 2020.

But, the Houston Airport System head told the Houston Chronicle that domestic, European, and Latin American travel is almost back to normal at Houston airports.

RELATED: IAH warns travelers to find alternative parking spots due to all terminal garages being full

At Bush Intercontinental Airport, the combination of higher than expected travel and the airport's $1.4 billion dollar construction project has brought significant problems.

The construction site will be home to a brand new international terminal and will not be completed until 2024.

"Even if you do a Park N' Ride, pack in that three hours before on a domestic because the Park N' Rides are full. You'll have to ride over," Northcutt said. "Travel is at an all-time high, which is beautiful, but there will be long security lines."

Many people have turned to travel agencies to help navigate flight credits, delays, and new regulations.

"Our sales from our best year have more than doubled for this year," Shayla Northcutt, with Northcutt Travel Agency, said.

"That is how many people are traveling like crazy. I was asked the other day when people should be booking Thanksgiving and Christmas travel. And my answer was, 'Yesterday.' The prices and availability are just going by the wayside at this point," Northcutt said.

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