Sioux Falls Regional Airport Surprises Millionth Passenger In 2016
FSD Hits Milestone For The First Time Ever
For the sixth consecutive year, the Sioux Falls Regional Airport has seen a record number of passengers. But this year is special. For the first time ever, the airport welcomed their millionth passenger. And he got quite the surprise when he got off the airplane.
For months, the airport has been searching for one special passenger.
“We looked at where we sat in November and the bookings we’ve had so far this month, kind of came to this day and this time period,” said FSD Executive Director Dan Letellier.
The day: December 22nd. The time: 9:34 a.m. and Executive Director Dan Letellier made sure he was waiting with balloons, cake, cookies and goodies.
It takes ten minutes before people start trickling down the escalator.
“Sir, can I grab you for a minute?” asked Letellier. “I’m Dan Letellier, the Airport Director. Did you have a good trip back?” The passenger responded, “Yeah, it was amazing!”
Letellier grabs Justin Weise. He explains that he’s their millionth passenger to arrive or depart from the airport in 2016; their first millionth passenger ever.
“We have a few gifts, Allegiant Airlines, I hope you had a good experience, they provided two complimentary tickets on Allegiant,” Letellier told Weise. “Oh, really,” responded Weise.
Weise is also greeted with a $500 gift card and free parking for his next trip. The Sioux Falls resident says he just got off an Allegiant flight from Orlando with his family, where they visited Universal Studios.
“I’m surprised. I never would have guessed coming home and being the millionth passenger,” said Weise smiling.
Weise says this was his third time ever flying. Now, it won’t be his last.
“I’ll have to talk to my fiance and see if we can plan a trip to go somewhere,” said Weise.
Letellier attributes their success to the growing community. He says they’ve averaged about a three percent growth each year for the last 20 years. FSD can accommodate up to 1.5 million passengers a year. Letellier says they’ll be in good shape for the next 20 years, however, they will be adding more parking within the next few years.