Dayton, Ohio – With the holidays in full swing, last-minute travelers are rushing home to their families, but experts say air travel is expected to be much lower this year due to the pandemic.
At Dayton International Airport it was much quieter than a typical Christmas Eve.
“We moved the beginning of this year it’s the first we’ve been home. We’re just trying to travel and be as safe as possible to see family without being too risky. I’m happy to be home,” said Halen Cawdill.
Travel as a whole is down by 60 percent, but airport officials said safety precautions are still required.
“We’re also working very hard to make sure the airport is clean, sanitized, and as safe as possible for the travelers coming through the airport. I know there are not as many passengers traveling today as they were a year ago, but we do want to keep people spaced out for a good social distancing,” said Linda Hughes, Air service Administrator for the Dayton International Airport.
Officials with AAA said they expect at least 34 million fewer travelers compared to last year’s holiday season. They said about 3.4 million Ohioans will travel, down from 4.8 million last year.
“About 107,000 are going to fly but nearly 3 million of those Ohioans are going to drive to their destination,” said Cindy Russeau, a AAA retail travel manager. “Normally Christmas and year-end holidays are for some of those larger trips and getting away but those are not happening this year,” she said.