Ontario International Airport officials are warning travelers to be prepared for an end-of-year travel surge.
During the three-week period, starting Dec. 15 and ending January 4, 2018, airport officials anticipate a 5.4 percent increase in passenger traffic from the previous year. In all, 281,313 passengers will fly out of the twin terminals.
Officials say the busiest days will be Dec. 22, and Dec. 26 when more than 19,000 passengers are expected to travel each of those days.
Alan Wapner, Ontario International Airport Authority president and Ontario councilman, attributed the spike to improvements in air service.
“We have more carriers and more flights, but we’ve also maintained our trademark hassle-free airport experience. Even during this incredibly busy time of year, ONT remains free of needless delays and inconveniences,” he stated in a news release.
Nov. 1 marked the one year anniversary of the authority taking over the reins of the airport from Los Angeles.
According to the release, airport officials also touted improvements made at the medium-hub facility such as upgraded Wi-Fi which delivers faster free internet service.
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, airport officials announced it had launched a radio station, added new monitors in the terminals and made changes to improve the flow of security lines.
Improvements were made to Terminal 4 – the hub for Southwest and American Airlines – the busiest wing at Ontario. A fifth security screening lane was added, as were new trays, which increased “screening capacity by 25 percent and passenger flow by 40 percent,” the release stated.
In the most recent passenger figures released by the OIAA, traffic for October was up 4.7 percent compared to the same month in 2016. Airport authority officials contributed the uptick to Frontier Airlines which offers flights to Austin and San Antonio, Texas; Denver, and in 2018 to Chicago.
Overall, passenger volume for the first 10 months on 2017 has increased by 6.6 percent compared to the same period last year.
By the numbers
• 5.4 percent increase in passenger traffic expected from Dec. 15 to Jan. 4 compared to 2016
• 281,313 passengers will fly out of ONT during the Christmas holiday period.
• Dec. 22, and Dec. 26 will be the busiest days with 19,000 people traveling each day
• Passenger volume up 4.7 percent in October and 6.6 percent in first 10 months of the year compared to 2016