SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, and as coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket nationally, tens of millions of Americans are expected to venture away from home to see loved ones, according to a recent report from AAA.
This estimation comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pleas with Americans to stay home to reduce the spread of the virus.
Though Thanksgiving travel is down 10 percent amid the pandemic, AAA estimates over 47 million people are expected to drive more than 50 miles from home for the holiday, while 2.5 million are expected to fly — a decrease in air travel of nearly 50 percent from 2019.
Mark Crawford, marketing manager for the Shreveport Regional Airport, noted some airlines are offering fewer flights.
“Delta is offering one fewer flight per day, United is offering two fewer flights per day, that means there are fewer seats in the market,” Crawford explained. “American and Allegiant are offering the same number of flights as last year and we’re seeing similar numbers this year to what we were seeing last year.”
But, according to data publicly available on the Shreveport Regional Airport website, which compares how many people boarded planes in September 2020 versus September 2019, travel is down nearly 50 percent.
“The airport continues to sanitize those high traffic areas, the airlines themselves have implemented social distancing markers at ticket counters,” Crawford added. “They are also requiring masks to be worn the entire time on your flight.”
According to newly released data from the Louisiana Department of Health, 3,478 news cases of COVID-19 were identified over the weekend, 967 patients are hospitalized with the virus and an additional 27 people lost their lives.
In total, over 220 thousand cases have been confirmed in Louisiana, while 6,260 people have died.