Tulsa International Airport Prepares For Surge In Holiday Travelers

Monday, November 23rd 2020, 6:19 pm
By: Erick Payne

TULSA, Okla. -

Tulsa International Airport prepares for a surge in the number of travelers for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The CDC suggests people stay home to celebrate as cases continue to rise. The number of Oklahomans with COVID surpassed 175,000 today out of four million citizens, with another 3,500 cases reported in the past 24 hours. 15 more people have died, however none of those were in the past 24 hours.

Airport officials say they're confident the health measures they have in place will stop the spread of COVID-19. Some travelers say they're used to the requirements at this point. Hundreds of Oklahomans and others returning home for the holidays will pass through the security checkpoint at Tulsa International this week.

It includes Trina Kenyon, who's traveling from OKC to Alabama to visit her brother for Thanksgiving.

"So far, this is the first plane trip I've done in a while. I did do one in June," Kenyon said.

Kenyon says most of the people she's seen at TIA have been good with physical distancing and wearing masks. She says she's just grateful she can still travel by air.

"I mean otherwise I'd be doing a very, very long car trip. And I prefer not to do that," Kenyon said.

TSA says last weekend, more than three million people flew in the U.S. That's down from seven million during the same three days last year. Andrew Pierini with TIA says they expect to see a decrease from last year as well. Part of that is because the airport's flight capacity is still down by about 30 percent.

"It's still going to be a busier week, and you're still going to have those peak travel days of Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, as well as the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which is typically the busiest travel day of the year," Pierini said.

Kenyon says she believes taking a plane will still hold a similar experience through the end of next year.

"Maybe the year after, but I don't think it's going to go away any time soon. I think we've all got to settle in," Kenyon said.

Face masks are required when you're at the airport and during your flight.