Airline passengers enjoy empty airports, quick check-ins

Ride share drivers reporting low profits

SAN ANTONIO – Short lines, quick check ins. How about having an entire row to yourself? It sounds like a dream for airline passengers, but it’s becoming more and more of a reality as people cancel trips due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Not everyone is happy with the decreased volume of passengers. Some ride share drivers are reporting their lowest profits ever.

“It’s been a steady decline ever since it broke out, and not only at the airport. This entire city is shut down,” said Richard Appling, a ride share driver.

Appling and other drivers say before the outbreak the ride share waiting lot was usually full. On Wednesday, there were empty parking spaces but drivers were still having to wait over an hour for a request.

“Before the outbreak, I was doing $125-$150 a day. Now I’m barely scraping $50 to $60 a day,” Appling said.

“I’ve been doing Uber about four years and this is the worst I’ve seen it,” said Douglas Smith, a ride share driver.

The decrease in rides seems to correlate with a decrease in overall travel. On Wednesday, the San Antonio International Airport was unusually empty. Passengers who had connecting flights said the scene is similar at other airports.

“I mean, it’s refreshing because there’s not a lot of people around,” said Chrystal Cole, an airline passenger.

Henry Floy flew in a nearly empty jet.

“I think our Southwest flight had maybe 20 passengers,” he said.

While some travelers appear to be enjoying the decreased volume, others are not happy about it.

“I’m a vet, I’m disabled and I rely upon this,” Smith said.

About the Authors: