Many flyers say airport was ‘back to normal’ after busy travel weekend

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 10:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As Memorial Day weekend comes to an end, the summer travel season is just beginning.

On Monday, TSA says it screened nearly two million passengers nationwide, a pandemic-era record. The last time that many passengers were screened was back in March of 2020.

According to flyers at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, crowds were definitely present at the airport and on planes.

Passengers though said they weren’t too concerned.

With nearly 63 percent of adults across the states with at least one vaccination, many said they were excited this weekend felt normal.

“This weekend, it was crowded. Definitely crowded,” said LeJean, who flew into Charlotte Monday. “I was excited about the travel. I was excited about people getting out and having fun after the two years we’ve had.

WBTV News talked to flyers at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Monday. For many it was their first flight since the pandemic started.

“It has been busier. It was busier today than it was yesterday. Like I said we missed our flight in Philadelphia,” said one flyer.

“Much more crowded, all the flights are booked. We couldn’t even get water on the plane,” said another passenger.

“On our second flight, we were kind of bunched up crowded,” said LeJean.

Part of the reason for the increase in travel is more than half of US adults are partially vaccinated. Many flyers think that’s the reason people felt safer traveling this weekend.

“People feel safer, the number of vaccinations have increased. People just feel more comfortable traveling,” a traveler said.

Social distancing was difficult in some spots, but some flyers said they felt safer because the federal mask requirement in airports is still in effect.

Others are looking forward to that going away soon, many hoping by summer.

“It’s so irritating wearing masks, especially coming from Texas where we’re so open,” said another flyer.

“I’m kind of up in the air about the masks. I’m fine not wearing one, I know some people aren’t so, of course, I’m going t do it, it’s mandated still. But as far as going out these doors, yes it’s coming off,” said a passenger coming back to Charlotte.

TSA is now gearing up for the rest of summer travel. As more people get vaccinated they expect travel numbers to get closer to pre-pandemic times.

The next major holiday is Fourth of July.

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