Airlines see spike in demand amid holiday season

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Though COVID-19 has taken a bite out of the bustle of the holiday season, many people are still traveling.

Louis Armstrong International Airport will not see a silent night this holiday season. Though the numbers are drastically down compared to last year, people are ready to travel.

“The numbers will be slightly up right now, a little more capacity has been put into the market to accommodate more traffic,” said Kevile Dolliole, director of aviation.

The airline industry as a whole is seeing around 30 percent of flyers compared to 2019. Dolliole maintains travelers need to know the airport is safe and people are taking the necessary COVID-19 precautions.

“The TSA through this period is allowing people to take one 12 oz container of hand sanitizer,” Dolliole said. “I would suggest you bring it along.”

Many flyers say they’ve heard the Governor and health officials warnings this holiday season, but say traveling is worth the risk.

“It’s time to come together. At this point, if somethings going to happen, it’s going to happen,” said Benjamin Jackson. “You never know this could be their last one. It’s that time to go see them and we have the time to do it.”

Jackson has lost two family members to COVID-19, but said he feels comfortable traveling because he’s wearing a mask and sanitizing. Jackson said other flyers should “Look out for others around them and have the holiday cheer as much as possible.”

Not everyone is excited about non-essential travel.

Matthew Kazarian is moving to California for work and said flying is easier than driving.

Kazarian said, “I look at the charts everyday and it’s literally…it scares me.”

Airport officials say if you are flying, arrive two hours early to give yourself enough time to check in and to get through security.

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