Industry expecting a boost in holiday travel

Air traffic is picking up at Minneapolis—St. Paul International Airport as people prepare to wind down for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“I came early giving myself extra time because my earlier flight into Minneapolis from Seattle, the airport there was crazy,” Karen Hust, air traveler, said.

Hust was killing time at MSP after she arrived and found a shorter wait than expected.

“I was shocked to see how empty it is,” Hust said.

So was Aaron Provancha.

He and his family are headed to Hawaii — one of the top Thanksgiving holiday destinations — but they beat the holiday rush.

“It’s nice. It’s really quiet. I think we’ll get through security fast and make things a little more enjoyable for us,” Provancha said.

On Saturday, the wait time to get through security was less than five minutes, but on Friday it was a different story.

Airport officials said the wait time was an hour and a half and they expect the airport to get busier as Thanksgiving nears.

AAA reports the busiest days at the airport will be Tuesday and Wednesday before the holiday. The second rush will be the Sunday and Monday afterward.

The number of passengers flying is reaching new heights.

About 4.2 million passengers are boarding planes this year for Thanksgiving, compared to 2.3 million last year, according to AAA.

“I do feel comfortable. I feel that since I’m vaccinated, I feel that if I take proper precautions I don’t have to worry too much,” Hust said.

Some passengers say they’re more comfortable taking to the skies this holiday season with more tools in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“We wanted to wait until we were vaccinated and felt a little safer with travel,” Provancha said.