Holiday travel ramps up as big changes get underway at LNK airport

From a new flight to renovations the Lincoln Airport is on its way to a new era.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:25 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Thanksgiving marks the start of holiday travel for families visiting each other or traveling home for the holidays.

“I’m here for thanksgiving break,” said Riley Scott, a passenger who flew into Lincoln Tuesday evening.

Travelers are sure to notice an airport under construction. The Lincoln Airport is in the middle of a renovation, expanding the number of gates from four to six, hoping to lure a new airline.

The project is set to be completed next May.

“I’d like to have more airlines like we used to have to serve this airport,” said LNK flier Charles Humble. “It’s a great airport. Ticket prices can be very high out of Lincoln so you’re kind of trading that off for convenience.

But the process of getting a new airline is long and tedious. It isn’t just money, it’s trying to see if there’s enough interest for it to make sense. Though there is some optimism that it will happen relatively soon.

“We’re hoping in the next six months to a year we’ll have another airline here,” said Rachel Barth with the Airport Authority.

Data shows more people are flying out of LNK at least year to year. Through the first 10 months of 2022, 148,00 people passed through TSA in the capital city. That’s up 12% compared to the same time frame in 2021.

With its short wait times, a smaller airport does have its perks.

“I like the size for the most part security is pretty short and it’s right next to home,” Scott said.

But for now, travelers still have just that one carrier, United Airlines, hoping next year someone else decides to land here as well.

The Lincoln Airport said they will typically see fuller flights during this time of year from 40 passengers to a full 50. While they likely won’t add new flight times, United may use a larger plane to accommodate those numbers.