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Holiday traveling soars at the Indianapolis International Airport

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More than 325,000 fans packed the stands at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 2023 Indy 500, which is the most since the 100th running of the Indy 500 in 2016.

Now, those fans and holiday travelers are packing up and heading home with stops through the Indianapolis International Airport, causing air travel to skyrocket as the weekend wraps up.

The TSA expects more than 22,000 people to be screened Monday at the airport. That’s up 5,000 since last Memorial Day. The airport says that could be the highest number of travelers since the day after the Super Bowl in Indianapolis in 2012.

“It’s nice to see everybody is getting back out into the world and having fun and kind of going about their lives,” said Amy Rogers, who is one of many passengers flying out of Indianapolis Monday.

Many travelers came from all over the world to fill the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500, like a father and son duo, Jonathan and Andrew Gottlieb, who visited from California.

“We had a lot of beer, which is a lot of fun and it was just great seeing the race cars in a circle,” said Jonathan.

“Oh, just seeing the crowds and the great people that were there and the ending of the race was really thrilling,” Andrew added.

But for others, it wasn’t about the race cars but rather a chance to spend time with their loved ones.

Rogers spoke about her daughter’s first experiences in Indiana. She said, “It was great. It was her first time meeting a bunch of cousins, so it was really cool for her to just get to meet family she’s never met before.”

Some of the passengers say they are happy to see more and more people traveling over the holiday weekends, especially after experiencing the impact the pandemic had on travel.