New Orleans sees surge of visitors as Fourth of July travel is in full swing

Orleans Parish

NEW ORLEANS — People are coming into New Orleans for the Fourth of July weekend by car and plane.

A lot of visitors are booking it to the French Quarter and this weekend is shaping up to be the most crowded in the city since the start of the pandemic.

At Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Friday marked the busiest travel day of the holiday weekend.

“It’s definitely getting more crowded now that the pandemic is loosening up and people are getting vaccinated but still less than it normally is for sure,” said Gwendolyn Ozols-Remmetter as she was traveling to New York.

Airport leaders say while airlines are making more seats available this holiday weekend, availability is down 23% compared to Fourth of July weekend in 2019. Flyers though are noticing full flights and crowds returning to airports.

“Everybody is trying to enjoy themselves and either see family or vacation. Just bring your patience with you,” said Sandra Gibson as she travels to New York.

For those flying into New Orleans, they’re looking forward to the classics.

“Drinks, eating and drinking. Maybe a few hurricanes,” said John Franklin and Hardy Ward as they visit the city from New York.

While some flyers had a headache getting to New Orleans, they’re letting go an letting the good times roll.

Laura Valentine from Arizona said, “My flight was three and a half hours delayed. It’s my first time coming here and I wanted to travel on Fourth of July and just experience a different area and make memories.”

Some started the party at the airport and sipped wine while waiting for their bags.

Our camera found Rhonda Smith on Bourbon Street almost immediately after she left the airport.

Matthews said, “God Bless the USA. Also, my husband just finished 6 months of chemo and our 15 year wedding anniversary is Sunday, July 4. What better place to be than Bourbon Street?”

According to AAA, this weekend, more than 47-million Americans are expected to travel and the majority are driving.

Amy Chance and her family made the drive to New Orleans from Oklahoma.

“We are just here for the night, and then we are heading to Panama City tomorrow,” Chance said.

Whether you’re driving or flying this weekend, make sure to give yourself extra time to make it to your destination.

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