Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A record number of passengers flew in and out of BWI-Thurgood Marshall for the third year in a row. Now the airport is beating out other, larger airports in the region.
Gigi Barnett explains why so many airline passengers are making the switch.
It’s easy to get in and fly out.
“You flow through the process,” said one passenger.
Plus, the ticket deals are easy to find.
“This was perfect,” a passenger said.
And there have been recent terminal upgrades.
“I like the feel of BWI much better than Dulles,” a passenger said.
They’re just several reasons why a record number of passengers continue to fly out of BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport for the last three years.
New numbers released this week show the airport is edging out other regional airports like Washington Dulles and Reagan National.
“Travelers in this region are fortunate,” said BWI spokesman Jonathan Dean.
Last year, BWI-Marshall saw about 23 million passengers. That’s slightly more than Dulles at 22 million. Because of those numbers, for the first time in a decade, BWI has edged out Dulles when it comes to passenger travel.
“I remember when it was much smaller; the sky walks weren’t in,” said JT Brown, BWI passenger.
Over the years, BWI has become the go-to airport for Brown. He says BWI is closer to home, so he rarely flies out of Dulles or Reagan.
“I do not like them. They’re not well organized, and the process doesn’t flow,” Brown said.
In addition to the regional airports, BWI’s ranking is also moving up among other airports nationwide.
“As of 2012, BWI was the 22nd busiest airport in the country. We actually moved up one space in terms of our level in the rankings,” Dean said.
Another way to funnel more passengers to BWI is to expand concourses D and E. The state has a plan in place to do that over the next three years by spending $125 million.
The airport says at this point, the one thing that could hinder its growth are deep federal budget cuts and it’s expecting to see some effects from sequestration.