Fall break prompts weekend travel congestion warning in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY – UEA weekend, also known as fall break, is expected to bring congestion to travelers at the airport and on the roadways in Utah.

“Its’ really one of the busiest times at the airport,” said Salt Lake City International Airport spokeswoman, Nancy Volmer. “It’s going to be extremely congested,”

For those traveling by plane, the airport is anticipating a 10 percent influx in passengers (when compared to their ‘typical’ busy day).

“A big day for us is about 25-thousand passengers and we’re expecting 28-thousand passengers,” Volmer said.

The airport said, travelers starting their trips can expect packed parking lots and long lines.

“This is something that we are aware of and really increase our staff for,” said Volmer.

Their best advice? Get their early.

“Arrive two hours before boarding and that’s to allow plenty of time to find parking, check your bag and then to get through security,” Volmer said.

“Uea is one of our busy travel weekends, a lot of people trying to get away for the fall break,” said Zach Whitney with the Utah Department of Transportation.

And while fliers will have a harder time getting out, UDOT said drivers will have a harder time getting home.

“We don’t see as much traffic heading out of town as we do coming back in, so we’re really paying attention to Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening,” Whitney said.

UDOT said the most congestion will be seen by drivers along I-15 from Southern Utah through Utah County and U.S 6 through the Spanish Fork Canyon.

“We tend to see a lot of bottlenecking as people start to return home all at the same time,” he added.

UDOT said planning your drive home is key.

“Plan it out a little bit, if you can leave a little bit early or even stay a little bit later, it will be a lot better heading through those high traffic areas,” Whitney said.

But whether it’s by wings or by wheels, both UDOT and the airport believe travelers will need one thing.

“Just be patient, when we have a lot of people traveling at once, a lot of people traveling at the same time, we need people to be patient,” Whitney said.

“People pack their patience because it can be a little bit stressful,” said Volmer.