LANSING, Mich. — Thanksgiving is only a few days away and AAA estimates close to 1.6 million Michigan residents will travel for Thanksgiving, a 14 percent rebound from the total number of travelers during the holiday last year.
AAA is forecasting that nearly 150,000 of those Michigan travelers will travel by air
The Capital Region International Airport expects Wednesday and Sunday to be the busiest days. Back in 2019 the airport saw 28,841 people fly in and out of the airport in November while last year that number dropped to 7,586.
But this year officials believe numbers will improve.
“I think we’re definitely planning to see more travelers than we saw at this time last year," said Katherine Japinga, the director of marketing at Capital Region International Airport. "Again just given the wide availability of the vaccine and more people feeling comfortable traveling this year. I think we’re anticipating things to be a lot busier around here for the next couple of weeks.”
Even though the holiday season is here COVID-19 is impacting the state and cases are rising once again.
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said Ingham County is averaging about 1400 cases a week so about 200 a day in the past two weeks.
Vail said there are ways to travel and gather safely.
“So you know people really just need to think about what they’re doing and be cautious," she said. "If you’re going to a gathering and all your family is vaccinated you can have some confidence that you know you can gather and do so safely. If you’re going into an environment where you potentially could bring COVID into a vulnerable child or adult you need to think about that and what precautions you might take. If you’re experiencing any symptoms, vaccinated or not then you probably should just not go.”
Justin Askran was flying to California on Monday to see his family for Thanksgiving.
And even though COVID-19 cases are rising in Michigan, Askran said he’s not nervous to fly and is looking forward to going home.
“Seeing my baby sister. Being able to see my mom, get to harass my little brother, laugh at him over a joke that happened recently and see my step dad which I haven't seen since I left two years ago,” he said.
As you pack your bags, remember to bring along a little patience.
“Biggest thing for holiday travelers is to just give yourself a little bit of extra time knowing that there are going to be busier crowds and you might see a little bit more in the lines for security. Longer lines to get checked in to your flights,” Japinga said.
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