MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The busy July 4th travel weekend extended into Monday.
Thousands of travelers departed from Myrtle Beach International Airport Monday on 70 scheduled departing flights.
Security lines midday stretched the length of the terminal.
Natalie Sabo was making her way back home to Michigan Monday. Having gotten to the airport just before the big rush, her wait to clear security was not much longer than a half hour.
“When you walk in it’s overwhelming, but it takes about 30 to 35 minutes to get through,” Sabo said.
Eric Lopez could not say the same. He was in line for a half hour already and still had a ways to go before getting through the TSA checkpoint.
“[I’ve] been here for 30 to 40 minutes, and [a security guard] said it’ll take another hour before we pass security,” Lopez said.
Airport officials suggested passengers arrive up to three hours before their flights during peak travel days: Thursdays through Tuesdays.
Lopez was glad he listened to the warnings of big travel backups.
“Luckily I woke up extra early and came here, so I don’t think I’m going to miss my flight,” Lopez said.
Ramy Said spent the long weekend in Myrtle Beach. He said he was not expecting to see such lines at the airport, but as frequent traveler, he knew he had to give himself extra time.
“I’m usually traveling so I know we have to give ourselves a good amount of time, but we got here about 2 hours early,” Said said.
Said was in good spirits and said he did not mind waiting.
“We had a good vacation, so it doesn’t matter,” Said said.
Vacationers didn’t just fly into Myrtle Beach. Many of them chose to drive.
AAA estimated that 43.6 million Americans would travel over the holiday weekend by car.
With Monday being the observed holiday, many chose to lengthen their vacations before returning home.
Reggie Johnson is from Charlotte and drove down to Myrtle Beach. He said traffic on the road was rough.
“The traffic was very heavy, but I expected that,” Johnson said. “That was our expectation whenever we were going to get on the highway because of the pandemic — you know — just getting over with and everyone starting wanting to travel and all.”