Airports throughout the country have been pretty empty since the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of many travel plans.
On Friday, San Antonio International Airport officials announced they expect to see a huge uptick in airport traffic leading up to Memorial Day and beyond.
Last year on May 22nd, SAT saw just over 5,300 passengers. Exactly one year later amid the pandemic, just under 2,000 are expected to fly. As the Memorial Day holiday approaches, airport officials predict the number of travelers to continue to rise.
“Passenger traffic has definitely picked up, between today and the day after Memorial Day. The 26th, we expect about 8,000 passengers,” said SAT Public Relations Manager, Tonya Hope.
Traffic is expected to continue increasing after Memorial Day, leading up to the 4th of July.
Matthew Bradsher, who just flew back home from DV where he went for work, is already seeing the increase. He said his plane was at 90% capacity.
“In fact, all the rows next to me were completely all packed up,” Bradsher said.
This was a huge difference from what South Carolina native Andrew Hudgens said he saw when he came a month ago for work.
“There was still plenty of room, but I’m hearing rumors about going back,” Hudgens said.
Airport officials are reminding travelers to get to the airport two hours early, and check with your airlines for any delays to help keep the process as smooth as possible.
In an effort to make traveling safer, officials are having seat covers installed, which ensure that passengers skip a seat to help with social distancing. Eventually they’ll be put at all the waiting areas throughout the airport.
There are also new acrylic barriers between passengers and airline representatives to help with social distancing.
Hand sanitizing stations have also been placed at every high traffic area.
Denver native Mark Smith appreciates the precautions being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“It is a concern, but you still have to travel. Life goes on,” Smith said.