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Air travel expected to increase for holiday weekend

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 OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Ahead of the holidays, the CDC has issued new guidelines for Americans traveling for Thanksgiving.

They are begging people to not travel next week all in an effort to keep COVID cases and hospitalizations down.

Still, air travel is picking up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

But nowhere near last year’s levels.

At Oakland International Airport, airport officials say this will likely be their busiest travel period of the year.

For some, driving is not an option and flying is the best way to reach a holiday destination.

But this year is different.

COVID-19 is resurging across the country.

So travelers are taking precautions before boarding flights.

“I definitely got tested to make sure I didn’t have COVID before I flew, and I tried to stay away from groups of people — definitely no strangers in terms of hanging out so that way I’m doing my part, and I’m hoping everyone else is doing the same,” Kate Lamont said.

In October, at Oakland International Airport, the total number of passengers was down more than 67-percent compared to the same period last year.

But that’s still nearly a 14% jump from September.

“This Thanksgiving week will be our busiest stretch since the pandemic began,” Robert Bernardo said.

From the day before Thanksgiving and through the following Tuesday, airport spokesperson Bernardo says more than 100,000 people are expected to take off from or land at Oakland International.

“Just to put it into perspective, last year, during the same Wednesday to Tuesday traditional Thanksgiving travel period, we saw about 275,000 travelers,” Bernardo said. “So, we’re about one third to a half less.”

Mineta San Jose International Airport is anticipating 125,000 travelers during the same period.

Down from the more than half million people who traveled to and from the airport during Thanksgiving last year.

“Make sure you are healthy, follow the cleanliness tips and move on,” Jahid Agrawala said. “You know, we have to move on. Life has to move on.”

San Francisco International Airport says it is only seeing 24% of the passengers leading up to the holiday than it welcomed last year.

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