Thousands crowd airport while leaving DNC

by: Holly Maynard Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - There was a huge rush of travelers Friday at Charlotte Douglas Airport, as thousands of Democratic National Convention travelers headed home at the same time.

US Airways told Channel 9 more than 16,000 people were booked on its Friday flights out of Charlotte. On a typical Friday, that number is between 4,000 and 5,000 people. The airline's advice: Arrive extra early.

Eyewitness News met Michael Bookhardt after he arrived at the airport and a little more than an hour before his flight was to take off.

He said he was nervous.

"I met a young lady here when we came in and she said they want three hours ahead of time," he said.

Bookhardt made his flight.

US Airways had lots of extra staff and volunteers and every ticket counter was open.

There was still extra security and every security checkpoint was open.

US Airways said no one waited in their lines more than 15 minutes, and the same went for the TSA checkpoints.

Eyewitness News saw several people coming from the DNC, but others were not here for the convention and they didn't notice when they booked their flights that they'd be leaving on such a busy day.

"I realized that and I was like, 'Why did I do that?' But it's OK now, though. I'm going to make it,"' said traveler LaToya Blackburn.

The airport reported no delays or issues because of the increase in travelers.

US Airways, which flies about 90 percent of the flights at Charlotte Douglas, recommends travelers leave extra time on Friday night, even though the majority of the rush is over.