HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – With Thanksgiving days away, and with more people vaccinated and this latest wave of COVID-19 under control, many are returning to the skies to visit loved ones who live far away.
Huntsville International Airport officials say they will likely be busier than they’ve been in two years.
Staff report a steady trend since the end of the summer for business travel, but lately there has been an increase in leisure travel as well.
They expect this holiday season to be even more crowded, with families in particular, than it has been since before the pandemic. If the Huntsville airport is following national trends, they would be right.
Data shows Thanksgiving week ticket purchases for this year are already up 78% from last year and are even 3% higher than in 2019.
Huntsville Airport is currently reporting that they are hovering just over 80% of the business they brought before the pandemic, but over the next six weeks, they are hopeful things can continue to evolve .
“We were looking forward to December and expect it to be even higher, maybe even cover 90% of that trip, so that’s a really good sign and what we’re encouraging people to do, c is to take it into account. Keep in mind that flights will be at full capacity due to flight availability and seat availability and more people wanting to fly, ”said Mary Swanstrom, public relations manager.
Swanstrom gave some advice to those returning to airports after extended leave:
- Masks are mandatory inside the airport
- Avoid bringing wrapped gifts, whether checked in or in hand, they are likely to be unwrapped and TSA verified
- If you’re traveling with kids, pack their snacks in a clear, zippered bag for easy, germ-free TSA testing
- No outside alcohol is allowed on any flight
- Check TSA.gov and FAA.gov for the most recent airline policies
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