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STL Preparing for Peak Push of Travelers this Summer

Posted on May 24, 2019 in Media Releases

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 departs STL for Phoenix, AZ (PHX) on Friday, May 24, 2019.

(St. Louis- May 24, 2019) – Passenger growth at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) in 2019 is up three percent so far and that strong activity is expected to grow even more through the summer. The Memorial Day holiday weekend will kick start the busiest three months of the year. Airlines at STL have added destinations, additional frequencies and larger aircraft to meet the demand from St. Louis passengers.

STL will peak at 258 daily departures to 70 non-stop destinations this summer. Between June and August, airlines are boosting available seats by nearly three percent more than the same time frame in 2018. Those additional seats come from larger aircraft on existing routes and additional service to various markets. 

Southwest Airlines, STL’s largest carrier, will peak at 119 daily departures to 47 destinations after adding weekly non-stop service to Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC) beginning August 10. The weekly SLC service will expand to daily service later this fall. 

Sun Country Airlines, which began STL service in the fall of 2018, begins 4x/week non-stop service to Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (MSP) on June 7. That same day, it will begin 2x/week seasonal service to Portland, OR (PDX). The carrier already announced the new MSP service will carry over into 2020 in addition to resuming seasonal service to Tampa, FL (TPA) and Fort Myers, FL (RSW) in December. 

Frontier Airlines will be operating more than 100 additional flights from STL this summer versus 2018 with an additional 11,000 available seats versus its summer schedule in 2018. Frontier added a second daily non-stop flight to Denver, CO (DEN) in April and it extended its 3x/week non-stop service to Punta Cana, DR (PUJ) through most of the summer. 

United Airlines is also seeing an uptick in flights, more than 100 more this summer than in 2018, and a seat growth increase of 8.4 percent. United is upgrading four routes to mainline aircraft (Boeing 737 or Airbus A320) beginning June 6 for the 7:30 a.m. daily departure to Chicago, IL (ORD), the 9 a.m. departure to Houston, TX (IAH) and two daily flights to San Francisco, CA (SFO) departing at 7:30 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. 

STL has seen 44 straight months of growth through April 2019 with a three percent increase in total passengers surpassing 4.8 million. STL is expecting more than 4.4 million passengers between June and August. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), along with several travel groups, is predicting a record number of fliers this summer. Airlines throughout the U.S. are predicting a 3.4 percent increase to 258 million passengers between June and August. 

Most airlines recommend passengers arrive a minimum of 90 minutes before domestic departures; two hours or more before international departures.  Wait times for check-in and security will vary by airport, by checkpoint and by time of the day. Infrequent travelers, travelers with young children or passengers with large amounts of luggage may want to allow for more time to get through ticketing and checkpoints during the summer travel season. Click here for the TSA’s Top Travel Tips.