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Heightened security at Charleston International Airport during holiday travel

Check-in line Friday morning at the Charleston International Airport. (Source: Live 5 News) Check-in line Friday morning at the Charleston International Airport. (Source: Live 5 News)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Right now the world is under a travel alert, warning Americans of terror attacks.

Charleston International Airport has heightened security, and that means you need to allow for extra time to check in.

Airport officials said Tuesday is it’s busiest travel day ahead of Thanksgiving on Thursday.

"Last year during Thanksgiving week we put 33,000 almost 34,000 passengers through security," said Executive Director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, Paul Campbell Jr.

That's about 20% to 30% more than what the airport does weekly.

It's the start of a busy holiday season in Charleston, and airport officials are doing what they can to try and ease the stress of traveling.

That includes opening areas under construction last week ahead of Tuesday's busiest travel day.

"I feel like the airport is always kind of busy,” said Heather Helble, who was flying to visit family. “Especially with security and stuff, just get there early and it's not really that big of a deal."

Charleston airport officials have increased their security efforts following the attacks in Europe and the Middle East over the past few weeks.

"Basically we've got to make sure that we handle things securely,” said Campbell. “At this airport the safety of our passengers and the people who work here is our number one priority. We may be a little slower with getting through security."

Campbell said that's because TSA will be analyzing your baggage more closely and will have extra security standing around.

"If it means we're going to be safe, we gotta do what we gotta do,” said Helble. “I don't really think it's a big deal."

"Sure, I'm concerned, but I'm not afraid to fly,” said Cecily Stack, who was flying to visit her son. “I wouldn't be doing it if I really was."

Stack said flying is very different from decades ago, but knows that airports are putting the passenger's safety first.

"If you have to be a little slower getting through security, it gives you a good feeling when you get on the airplane that you're going to be safe," said Campbell.

The average wait time standing in line to get through security on a normal day at Charleston International Airport is about eight minutes.

The second busiest travel day at the airport is Sunday, which last year saw 6,115 people go through security.

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