'Would be our busy week': Airports expecting Thanksgiving travel to be cut in half from years past

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Thanksgiving week is usually known as one of the busiest travel periods of year, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, numbers are expected to be down.

“In a normal year this would be our busy week,” Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Stephanie Staudinger said. “Right now the numbers are looking like half of what we saw last year for Thanksgiving travel, that’s the trend we’re seeing.”

In 2019, TSA screened a record breaking 26 million travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period

On Sunday, slightly more than 1 million people were screened across the nation compared to 2.3 million on the same day in 2019.

This comes as the CDC is urging people to stay home for the holidays, but it isn’t stopping everyone.

“I wanted to go back home to be with my family,” UW-Madison student Charles Tini said.

Tini was heading to Baltimore on Monday, November 23. When asked how he felt about traveling during this time, he acknowledged feeling a little uneasy.

“A little nervous, I’m not going to lie,” Tini said. “If I had a car, I’d be traveling via car back home, but I don’t have one.”

Another traveler said he understands the risks and is willing to take them.

“I do feel safe, I feel like it’s the same as going to Walmart or Sam’s,” John Podvin of Dallas said. “You have to go on living your life, there is a virus out there and it is serious, people are dying.”

Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport has several measures in place to promote sanitizing and social distancing.

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