ENVER (KDVR) – Denver International Airport is getting closer and closer to 2019 travel numbers.
DIA officials said Sunday that the airport is the third busiest airport in the world. The recent snapshot showed only Atlanta and DFW as busier airports than Denver worldwide.
Airport officials expect Sunday to be the busiest day at the airport since the pandemic began.
“Today we’re supposed to see around 78,000 passengers travel through our checkpoints,” said Denver International Airport spokesperson Alex Renteria. “We are very close to 2019 travel numbers.”
Domestic travel is currently strong, while international travel still has constraints. When it comes to domestic flights, Renteria said Denver’s airport shines.
“We rely heavily on our domestic network, and our domestic network is really strong,” she said. “Denver International Airport is the third busiest airport in the world right now. This has never happened before.”
The big crowds come as fewer people are employed at the airport. The airport is not fully staffed as it was in 2019. The staffing woes mean potential issues that could delay travelers’ arrival at gates. However, Sunday showed promising signs, Renteria said.
“I think we’re going to be in the clear,” Renteria said referring to Sunday wait times at security checkpoints. “We’re not going to see those one-hour wait times [today] that we have seen in the past.”
As the holiday travel season begins, airport officials are advising travelers to arrive two hours before domestic flights board. The old rule of thumb called for arrival two hours before departure.
DIA has already hosted two job fairs. Its concession partners are coming together to host a job fair on Oct. 23 at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium.