DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Des Moines International Airport is estimating 5,000 passengers will be flying out of Des Moines Tuesday. They expected many press, campaign staff, and supporters to be leaving between the hours of 4:30 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. trying to quickly get to New Hampshire or back home.
But the extra TSA staff, security, and even restaurant workers who were there early for the “mass exodus” found themselves with time to spare after it seems many are waiting in Iowa for the Democratic caucus results.
Tuesday night many caucus-goers headed to precinct sites to make their voices heard, but findings were only anecdotal after the Democratic party in Iowa did not release results. Iowa Democratic Party Chair, Troy Price, said inconsistency with reports on their caucus app is causing the delays.
One of the Des Moines International Airport restaurants were open at 2 a.m. in order to accommodate the predicted crowd of passengers camping out at the airport throughout the early hours on Tuesday. A Channel 13 reporter at the airport during that time said there were not more than two or three people in the terminal.
TSA also opened up early and brought in extra staff to the Des Moines International Airport to help ensure things ran smoothly. Car rental companies also brought in extra staff. Kevin Foley, the Executive Director for the Des Moines International Airport said they have 1,500 cars expected to be returned in the next few days.
A Virginia couple who were in town to volunteer for mayor Pete Buttigieg said they were surprised at the smooth process to get to the airport Tuesday morning.
“I mean it was really weird when we checked in the rental car. One person said ‘well we only have 45 cars that checked in’ and I guess they were expecting an avalanche of cars,” Natalie Mosher said.
The reasoning may be that many of the press are still in Iowa waiting to report on the Democratic Caucus results that are still not released. There were a few charter flights that the media took to New Hampshire during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Someone from airport security told our Channel 13 reporter those flights were not full as expected.