BOZEMAN — After last year’s weather brought unprecedented travel delays, MTN News checked in with Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) to see how they’re holding up this holiday season.
"The difference in weather from last year to this year is, well, it’s incredibly different." Says Dean, a frequent BZN flier.
Brian Sprenger, BZN president and CEO says, "If you kind of compare to last year, I think we’re about ninety degrees warmer today than we were a year ago. So, obviously that makes a big difference in travel."
Sprenger says that despite the warm weather, they still hope to see travelers taking advantage of the ski season.
"You know, I think we’re pretty cautiously optimistic that we’ll continue to have a pretty good start of ski season," he says.
In fact, some travelers are already on their way to experience these famous slopes.
"My friend and I just decided to come to Montana. The northeast got rained out, so we just said, ‘Where’s good skiing?’," says another traveler, Niko Zoni.
As the Department of Transportation issues penalties to Southwest Airlines for its handling of last year’s holiday travel, Sprenger explains how the Bozeman airport is learning from that debacle.
"I think in any industry, when there’s a situation that challenges the industry, there’s room for improvement and room for really paying attention to what can be done better," he says.
The Bozeman airport has seen a more than 50% increase in travelers since COVID, encouraging the development of better bagging systems, parking, and more to improve the customer experience.
"This is my first time at Bozeman airport, it’s a lovely airport! I feel like I’ve been to a good number of airports and this one has definitely got a more rustic feel to it, and I really like that," says Niko.
Sprenger reminds visitors that they can prepare for busy holiday travel by showing up early for their flights.