CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - While holiday travel is significantly down from a year ago due to COVID-19, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport was among those seeing increased passenger traffic leading into and out of Christmas.
Earlier in December, the airport said it anticipated 200,000 people would travel through the airport between Dec. 18 and Jan. 4.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported a total of 1,191,123 nationwide screenings on December 23rd, the highest total since the middle of March.
Another 1,128,773 screenings were conducted on December 26th — now the second highest total since the pandemic started impacting travel.
According to TripAdvisor, the Sunday after Christmas was expected to be the busiest day of air travel throughout the United States since the COVID-19 drop-off began.
The TSA will release its screening totals for December 27th on the morning of December 28th.
“There were a little more people during the flights,” said Alanna Hicks, who returned home to Cleveland on Sunday after visiting family in Atlanta.
“Around this time [of the year] it’s more important to be with family,” she said, comparing this trip to one she took in October when she noticed far fewer travelers.
Logan Isaacs, a high school senior from Louisville, KY, arrived in Cleveland on Sunday for a pole vault training camp.
He had nothing to compare his trip to because it was his first time flying.
“So I was pretty nervous about that,” he admitted. “We filled every seat [on the plane]. There were no gaps in between the seats, so that’s kind of unusual with the whole COVID thing.”
Other than that, he told 19 News he felt comfortable with the protocols in place.
“I just wanted to make sure that I had my mask and as long as I kept to myself and did what I was supposed to do, then the best I could do is trust that everyone else would do what they’re supposed to do,” he said.
Hicks had no complaints.
“They made sure that we had the right accommodations and that we had our hand sanitizers. We got on and off [the plane] smoothly and there was a lot of leg room,” she told 19 News.
After being hampered by delays during the holiday snowstorm, most air travel in and out of Cleveland was on time by Sunday.
The airport reported wait times of ten minutes or less at its two open security checkpoints most of the day, although 19 News did receive reports from travelers of long lines early in the day, leading to some missed flights.