As 180,000 people head to Las Vegas for the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, McCarran International Airport expects a huge influx of passengers in the next few weeks.
“It was a zoo, it was nuts,” CES attendee Alexander Sohn said. “I think we waited a good hour to get badges.”
Travelers braved the headaches of security checkpoints and patience at baggage claims.
Sohn arrived in Vegas Friday to avoid all the crowds, as everyone is set to arrive Sunday for next week’s conference.
“It’s a lot nicer to kind of beat the rush and just get out here before everything gets crazy,” Sohn added.
McCarran International Spokesperson Christine Crews told 8 News NOW passengers should also expect a major uptick in taxi cab and ride share traffic for the next few days.
“We anticipate it will be very busy here in the arrivals on Sunday and Monday,” Crews said. “You’ll see it in the taxi ques.”
McCarran is adding at least 200 extra flights to accommodate CES attendees, which translates to about 38,000 extra airline seats.
“If you’re flying out of McCarran, even though we anticipate it’s really in the inbound that we’ll see a lot of people,” Crews said. “It will take you a lot longer to get into the airport.”
As the rest of the country winds down from holiday traffic jams, Crews said McCarran sees a major uptick in travel every January.
“While it is busy around the nation, it’s not as busy as it is here at McCarran during peak convention season,” Crews added. “This is when we see a lot of travelers coming through the airport all at once.”
If plans take travelers out of town soon, Sohn suggests a lot of patience and preparation.
“Be prepared to kind of get frustrated a little bit,” Sohn said. “Because it takes time.”
Of course, travelers are urged to give the extra gift of time.
McCarran officials said all the airport’s checkpoints are running smoothly but expect long lines Thursday and Friday with travelers and tourists leaving the Valley.
Aviation officials also added new international flights for CES, so allow even more extra time to travel out of the country.