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More travelers flying out of Midland International Airport

During the pandemic, most travelers could get away with getting to the airport about 45 minutes before a flight. Now? Not so much.

MIDLAND, Texas — It was nice while it lasted. That is, arriving at Midland International under an hour before your flight departed. Now, things are changing as vaccinations continue and people are starting to travel more. 

This has led to increased lines and wait time at bag check and security. MAF's Director of Airports, Justine Ruff recommends arriving earlier than usual.

"Just make sure you get here early if you’re flying out. You know we haven’t left anyone behind who’s been here in plenty of time. It’s if you get here 45 minutes before your flight leaves and you’re stuck in line at the checkpoint for 30 minutes, you’re not gonna make it," Ruff said.

Ruff said that 90 minutes should be the bare minimum when flying out of MAF now.

"I would say you should be here, particularly for flying out in the morning, at least 90 minutes before your flight especially on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday which are the busiest days," Ruff said.

COVID-19 has been the biggest contributor to fewer people flying over the last year, and as a result, there had been shorter wait times at airport security. Now? Things have changed.

"Well, we had a worldwide pandemic for the last year, and so people are feeling more comfortable with a vaccine that they can get out and travel and so we’re seeing an increase in travel," Ruff said.

It's not just a minor increase in travel. The jump in travel has been huge.

"We are trending up. Last month which would be April 2021, when you compared it to April 2020, we were up 642%. April 2020 wasn’t a great month for anyone, but I mean definitely we’re going in the right direction. That’s our second month of positive enplanements, and we hope to see that continue," Ruff said.

Mornings have typically been the busiest. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time if you have to fly out of MAF early in the morning.

"One of the reasons that we’re so busy in the mornings is because we have six flights that leave within a two hour period. So if all those flights are full like they tend to be on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, then there’s a lot more people going through the checkpoint in a very small window of time," Ruff said.