Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport sees uptick in travel ahead of Labor Day

Travelers line up at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport ahead of the Labor Day weekend. (FOX 9)

Ahead of the Labor Day weekend, it’s a different scene at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport compared to recent months amid the pandemic.

“But definitely the flight was more booked this time,” said Kim Dreyer-Molitor, a traveler from Michigan. “Probably about 80 percent full.”

The increase in travelers came as a surprise to some, who up until now during the pandemic have practically had their own private airport.

“Quite the difference between flying out last week... it was a ghost town,” said Aaron Cole, who was flying home from Washington D.C. “Flying back today it was quite, quite busy.”

The TSA’s spokeswoman tweeted Friday morning that passenger volume at security checkpoints across the country on Thursday topped 877,000, which was the highest passenger volume since St. Patrick’s Day.

At MSP, security checks topped 14,800, which was a 20 percent increase from the past monthly average. Airport officials say this may not be part of a new back-to-travel trend because they typically do have a spike during the holidays.

Air travel is still down by 50 percent from a year ago. The Thrifty Traveler’s Kyle Potter says airlines are working to get their passengers back. For now, it’s the last weekend of summer and many people simply want to get away -- pandemic or not.

Friday may end up being the busiest day at MSP in months. If so, airport officials say they’re expecting their second busiest day on Monday.