MCALLEN, Texas (KVEO) — The airline industry is one that has been impacted by the pandemic. Business travel is down 80 percent, while leisure travel is down 50 percent.
Officials with the McAllen International Airport say traffic is slowly picking up and many will be looking for those last-minute deals this holiday season.
Airport officials say the overall travel experience will be a little different this year, and they want passengers to be wise and informed travelers.
The first thing you need to do is understand the restrictions in place where you are traveling, some locations require you to quarantine for 14 days after arriving.
If you are flying internationally check with the State Department on protocols for returning to the U.S.
Officials say your phone will help your travel experience, they recommend downloading your airline’s app, so you can get familiar with the COVID-19 restrictions the airline has in place.
“There are a lot of tools that you can use to book your flight. So understanding how full the plane is, what seat availability there is, if there is an empty space between you and the next passenger, all of that are now tools that the airline is now offering,” says Elizabeth Suarez, Director of Aviation, City of McAllen.
When you go through the terminal, you will be required to wear a mask. You will also notice signs reminding you about social distancing. Officials say don’t be overwhelmed by the long lines going through TSA security, because of social distancing.
“You’re going to notice hand sanitation stations throughout the airport. You’re going to notice even a hand sanitizing station so you can charge your phone and sanitize it, while you’re waiting. You’re even going to notice markers throughout the seating areas to ensure we are keeping that 6 feet social distancing that CDC requires,” says Suarez.
Each airline has its own COVID-19 restrictions in place. You can find them on the website for the airline you are using.
Do remember the CDC is stressing that to minimize the spread no one should travel for Thanksgiving, but if you decide to travel be safe and follow guidelines.
Officials with the McAllen International Airport say they want everyone to have a safe holiday travel season, and if travelers have any concerns the airport is ready to help.