Air travel is expected to increase by 80 percent this Thanksgiving compared to last year, according to AAA.
“We are expecting quite a few more passengers to be traveling during this holiday season than in the past couple years,” said Jennifer Eckman, Minot International Airport director.
With COVID-19 restrictions loosening up in many places, travelers are starting to fly again.
One passenger says he has been traveling during the pandemic and he’s noticed the changes that airlines have been making.
“We went through a stage during the pandemic where the planes were half full and there was hardly any people,” said Gary Nagel. “Now we’re kinda getting back to where it was before. Planes are full. There’s more people in the airports.”
However, some people have concerns that more people on airplanes also means more risk of catching something.
“You could easily get, much more easily get something when you’re traveling now than before,” said Jeffrey Rasmussen. “It’s not something I used to think about at all.”
With that, some places may require travelers to pass certain criteria before visiting.
“Depending on where you’re traveling to and from, you may have to be vaccinated or you may have to, you may have to have a COVID test,” said Eckman.
Nagel is planning on going to the Caribbean for the holidays and that’s one of the places with requirements.
“I’ll have to take a COVID test 48 hours before,” said Nagel.
He will also have to take another test before he returns to the U.S.
Airports, like many other places, are also facing worker shortages.
Eckman says that while her airport is fully staffed, others may not be, so travelers should keep that in mind.
“Just be patient with the folks that are helping check you in,” said Eckman.
She also has a tip for those who might be shopping for Christmas gifts on their trips.
“Keep those unwrapped so when they go through TSA, it’s much easier,” said Eckman. “They don’t have to unwrap your gift for you in order to check what it is.”
On land and in the air, 53.4 million Americans are expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, which is a 13 percent increase from last year.
Eckman says the busiest days during this holiday season are the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the day after.