The historic year for Idaho Falls Regional Airport continues as the airport has surpassed its previous record total passenger count from 2019 with two months remaining to include for the 2021 count.
Airport Director Rick Cloutier said the airport surpassed its annual record for total passengers who traveled through Idaho Falls in October. The previous record of about 350,000 passengers was set in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, 360,000 passengers had traveled through the airport by the end of October.
“October was great. It was about 140 percent over October of 2019,” Cloutier said.
Cloutier said the airport is expecting a busy Thanksgiving week. Most of the airport’s flights are already filling up throughout the holidays and airport officials expect about 15,000 passengers to pass through the terminal throughout the week. That’s about 3,000 to 5,000 more passengers than an average week in 2021, he said.
Cloutier said he attributes the airport’s success to the new flights it has added. The airport is offering five more destinations than it did in 2019. Earlier this year the airport announced nonstop flights to Dallas, Phoenix and Seattle.
“We’re glad to be able to add all these additional flights this year that have been very popular with our passengers,” Cloutier said. “All these additional flights have allowed more options for passengers and reduced fares. We’re happy we’re able to serve the community in that way.”
Flights to and from Idaho Falls are about 30 percent less expensive than they were in 2019, Cloutier said. Bud Cranor, Idaho Falls Public Information Officer, said the airport is reducing parking costs for the holidays because of the expected increase of traffic. The airport will offer its economy fee for all of its lots at $7 per day or $42 per week starting this week until the beginning of January.
Cloutier said he advises people that will be traveling through the airport to be patient and arrive early for their flights. There is also a federal masking requirement in place at the airport.
“Remember these simple things and the process will flow much better,” Cloutier said.