Jul. 5—Update: The equipment failure at the Lafayette Regional Airport has been repaired, airport officials said late Tuesday.
Passengers flying out of Lafayette Regional Airport with checked bags could experience delays following an equipment failure.
The Transportation Security Administration screening equipment that scans checked bags is being repaired following an equipment failure, airport officials announced Thursday morning.
Until repairs are made, all checked bags must be scanned by hand, which may cause delays in the screening process, officials said. Passengers who intend to check bags are asked to arrive two hours before their flight to allow sufficient time for checked bags to be screened and put on flights.
Repairs may take as long as 30 days to complete. Carry-on luggage is not affected, officials said.
"We apologize for the inconvenience to passengers," LFT Executive Director Steven Picou said. " TSA is increasing the number of screeners on staff as they work to return to normal operations."
The announcement comes at the peak of a busy summer travel season.
Domestic travel across the country could increase by 2.1 million compared to a year ago and surpass the pre-pandemic high of 4.9 million in 2019. Some 4.17 million are predicted to travel by air to their destinations, up 11.2% from 2022 and 6.6% from 2019.
"We've never projected travel numbers this high for Independence Day weekend," said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. "What this tells us is that despite inventory being limited and some prices 50% higher, consumers are not cutting back on travel this summer."
At LFT, July has historically been among its busier months for passenger traffic. In 2019, there were more than 25,000 passengers enplanements and deplanements in Lafayette, the highest month of the year for both.
Passenger traffic so far this year is inching back toward pre-pandemic numbers, data shows. Through May, just over 92,000 people have boarded a plane in Lafayette compared to 105,505 in 2019, which was the busiest year for the airport since 2013.
The airport opened its new 120,000-square-foot terminal in January 2020 after more than three years of construction and years of complaints regarding delays for departing passengers. The new terminal included a new baggage handling system and added a second TSA screening line for passengers with potential for a third.
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