Chas. International Airport under construction during holiday travel season

Chas. International Airport under construction during holiday travel season

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - A lot of people are getting ready to travel for the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Nationally, about 25 million people are expected to fly.

Over 30,000 flew out of Charleston International last year during the week of Thanksgiving.

This year, the airport is in the middle of a multi-million dollar renovation.

Passengers making their way down smaller hallways will share the space with construction workers.

"There'll be a little more congestion than normal, but airport operations are running smoothly," said John Connell, Deputy Director of Airports of Facilities for Charleston County Aviation Authority.

Airport officials say you should leave plenty of time to make your way through the airport.

"We recommend arriving about an hour and a half or two hours before you flight," said Connell.

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year at the airport. Be prepared for scaffolding to be set up in the ticketing area, and gutted ceilings up above.

Connell said, "We're very conscientious about safety of passengers throughout this project. Maybe a little noisier or dustier than usual, but again, we're making a lot of progress in keeping the airport safe."

The work going on doesn't seem to bother travelers moving quickly to catch flights.

"It's actually not bad compared to what I've seen at Philadelphia airport," said a traveler.

The $189 million renovation is more than half way done.

Workers are putting glass on the outside of the future consolidated TSA security screening area.

The baggage claim carousels are all installed, and some of the rental car pavilion is already in use.

Connell said, "We'll definitely be finished prior to the holiday season in 2015.

Passengers are looking forward to seeing the brand new airport when they travel next Thanksgiving.

"I think it's going to be beautiful when it's done. I noticed that from outside," said another traveler.

There are a lot of excited employees too.

A new ticket counter for Jet Blue and United Airline will be ready before Christmas, on December 15th.

Most of construction at the airport will be done by this time next year.

The entire front side of the airport will be made of glass, giving the airport an entirely new look.

Seasonal parking specials

For the first time, a seasonal parking special is being made available at the airport.

The special is only for the overflow parking lots, which are the lots farthest away from the airport terminal. There's enough space there for about 630 cars.

No cash will be taken, it's a first come first serve basis.

Park there for four days and you get a day free. Park for five days or more, and you get two days free.

There's an $8 fee each day to park in the overflow parking lot. To get the deal, you must enter the parking lots between November 23rd and 27th.

There will be a free shuttle service running from the overflow parking lots to the airport terminal.

Surface lots in the parking deck cost $15 a day. Valet parking is $18 a day.