NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — As Americans prepare to take off on a flight back home after Thanksgiving, airports like Louis Armstrong International are seeing a steady flow of foot traffic, but to many travelers’ surprise, the airport wasn’t as crowded as they expected.

“We’re here about four hours before our flight, but the airport is looking pretty empty, looking like a normal travel day to me,” said James Harper.

“I expected it to be busier than what it is but so far, so good,” said Claudette Fuller.

“Pretty uneventful, which is nice. The airport’s not too bad, everything seems to be flowing pretty well,” said Monica Frisk.

Despite the calm conditions at MSY on Sunday afternoon, the travel industry is predicting a substantial boom for airlines compared to 2020.

Experts say holiday travel will look a lot different this year. In fact, AAA reports more than 4 million Americans hit the skies over thanksgiving weekend.

AAA reports that air travel has almost completely recovered since the pandemic started and says consumers are more comfortable flying because of masks and covid vaccinations.

“People are coming back, they’re flying back again,” said Jonathan Davis, a Delta Airlines employe

It’s not just airports seeing an uptick in travelers. AAA predicted more than 48 million Americans hit the road this Thanksgiving, an increase of more than 8% compared to last year.

With almost 60% of eligible Americans fully vaccinated, those traveling numbers are expected to climb this holiday season.

“If we protect ourselves, keep our masks on, everybody get vaccinated and we should be back in the skies again,” said Davis.