San Antonio International Airport working to keep passengers safe while feeling strain of pandemic

Airport seeing less travelers despite many COVID preventive measures

SAN ANTONIO – The airline industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, even after the uptick in passengers during the thanksgiving holiday with numbers still being down.

Alana Suhs is one of the few travelers on Wednesday morning. She’s visiting her family for the first time this year and brought her son and newborn to see their grandparents in San Antonio.

“It’s very quiet, it’s actually made the experience a lot nicer; there’s not a lot of crowds, not a ton of people,” Suhs said.

The airport isn’t seeing many crowds these days during the pandemic, even during the holidays.

“We’re about 40% of where we were year over year ago, so we continue to trend in that direction with hopes that we can someday get out of this pandemic and go back to normalcy,” Jesus Saenz, director of airports said.

And if you haven’t been here in a while, there are precautions in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

“When you walk into the airport and you’re checking in at your gate, at the ticket counter we have plexiglass to make you feel safe, or if for some reason you walk to the airport and you’ve forgotten your facial covering, we have ambassadors at the airport that can give you free facial covering,” Tonya Hope with San Antonio International Airport said.

Inside the airport there many precautions in place including social distancing markers for when you sit down and hand sanitization stations, as well as the crown jewel -- the Xenex Light Strike, which is a germ zapping robot.

“It’s a UV-Ray and it just really attacks anything, the virus that causes COVID and so we’re very excited to have that. This makes it easier, in fact, that you know that we have this, in the airport cleaning the areas to help make you feel safe,” Hope said.

As for Alana and her family, she’s been impressed and does feels safe.

“As long as we keep the little ones from touching everything. We feel pretty good about coming down here,” Suhs said.

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