Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Thousands of passengers will be arriving and departing from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport each day this week leading up to Christmas according to airport officials.

"It's busy and we like that. We look forward to the holiday season,” Lynne Douglas said.

Douglas is the Customer Service and Public Relations Manager with airport. She said they expect to see nearly 2,300 passengers a day this week leading up to Christmas.

"Now we are starting to see the kids get out of school. We're starting to see families traveling throughout the latter part of the week," she said.

William Hogarth attends the University of South Carolina and is heading home to New York.

"Oh geez. I haven't been home since the start of the semester, so this is finally going to be a good time to go back and go home," he said.

Hogarth said that he is looking forward to seeing his dad the most, who has been serving in the military in Afghanistan.

"When I see him there I'm probably going to have to drop the bag and just come up and give him a big hug. I'm just excited to go home and finally get to see him," he said.

Others like Jai came to Columbia to celebrate. He's from the Philippines and this will be his first Christmas away from his family, but he's spending time with friends.

"I am excited because my friend planned to go to an amusement park and we are planning to go to North Carolina," he said.

If you plan on traveling this week Douglas said it's important to be prepared for long lines and large crowds.

"Check with your airline before heading out to your airport just in case there are any changes or delays. Sign up for those alerts with your airlines where they will text you (and) phone you if there are any changes to your schedule,” she said.

Douglas said to add time to your commute since you may hit traffic on the way to or at the airport, check the TSA and Columbia Metropolitan Airport websites for updates and also be mindful of first time flyers.