FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – It’s that time of year again where everyone is rushing to get gifts shipped and under the tree in time for Christmas and the post office is feeling the heat.

Air travel at XNA this holiday season is down more than 60% from where it was a year ago, but we still need to get gifts to our loved ones. 

What this has created is even longer lines at the post office.

“When we pulled up I saw the line and my dad was actually like it’s going to be crazy in there so beware,” says USPS customer Corinne Spain.

I stood in line myself Saturday, December 19th, to see how bad it actually is and it took me 45 minutes to get through it.

USPS Strategic Communication Specialist Nikki Johnson says the post office has been keeping up with the rush but it hasn’t been easy. 

“Of course we have had some weather-related incidents and of course covid but other than that I think we are handling it pretty smoothly especially in the Arkansas area,” says Johnson.

Johnson explains USPS starts thinking about this rush to the post office while many of us are rushing to the beach.

“We start planning for it as early as June we reenforce all of our measures of hiring as well as leasing vehicles,” Johnson tells me.

And while the deadline has passed for ground Christmas delivery, you do still have a little time left if you’re willing to pay a little extra.

Johnson says, “We still have our priority two to three day as well as our overnight which is our priority mail express package, but we recommend our customers put those packages in the mail stream as quickly as possible.”

A post office manager says that USPS is doing absolutely everything it can do to make it a seamless experience for its customers.

So if you still need to make the trip to the post office make sure to be nice to those working hard this holiday season.