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Las Vegas tourism exploding with more and more people flying to and from the city

Posted at 2:58 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 19:23:57-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The lines are out the door for people looking to fly out of McCarran International Airport. No more are the pandemic times of arriving 40 minutes before your flight and zipping through to your gate.

The airport is encouraging people to get to the airport well before their flight.

McCarran spokesperson Joe Rajchel tells us, "We just recently released our March passenger numbers and saw almost a million passenger increase over February. We expect to see that trend to continue as we head into the summer months."

RELATED: Passengers report long wait times for rideshares at McCarran Airport

The airport is still in cost-containment mode with consolidated operations. They want people to know what to expect when they get here and be prepared.

Kristina is from Dallas and is coming to Las Vegas for the first time. "It was pretty backed up coming in and it was a little confusing getting on the train to come to baggage claim but it’s all new and interesting," said Kristina.

McCarran has seen a trend of more people choosing to drive themselves. T1 economy lot has reopened and the shuttle is operating. T3 E gates are still closed, which are mainly international.

"We’re seeing an increase and we are still not at 100% so that means you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer for check-in or for concessions. Even if you are dropping off a rental car, shuttle buses have a little bit more of a wait time. We really encourage people to give themselves plenty of time," says Rajchel.

Not only do they want people to be prepared when arriving at McCarran, but they also stress knowing the procedures at their destination.

A group from Minnesota traveling to Las Vegas for the first time said, "The plane was totally full. Getting on the blue line too was super full, but was pretty quick. We think everybody is vaccinated or close to."

Nevada’s biggest air carrier, Southwest Airlines, says that they have seen a significant rebound after losing 97% of air traffic.