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Orlando International Airport gears up to welcome most travelers since pandemic began

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ORLANDO, Florida Executives at Orlando International Airport have announced that they plan to see their largest number of passengers since the start of the pandemic for Thanksgiving travel.

Travelers are cautioned that the lines can be long, but not the way you remember.

Brian Engle is Director of Customer Experience at Orlando International Airport.

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Sometimes the line feels longer because of that social distancing, the extra space between guests, he explained.

Enforcement continues in regards to social distancing and safety precautions, said Phil Brown, CEO of Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Wear the mask and wear it correctly, Brown said. It is no use having it under your nose.

They’ve been doing this all week at the theme parks I’m sure they’re pretty used to it when they get there, Engle added.

Below are the starting projections for the OIA’s 12-day Thanksgiving trip:

Travel dateTotal number of travelers
Sunday November 2944 347
Saturday November 2842 623
Monday, November 3042,480
Saturday November 2141,319
Sunday 22 November41 113
Monday 23 November40,454
Friday November 2038,502
Tuesday December 137,440
Wednesday 25 November36 936
Friday November 2734 825
Tuesday November 2433 788
Thursday November 2622,072

The numbers are said to be the highest number of passengers leaving Orlando International Airport since the start of the pandemic. However, that’s still only half of what they saw in the same time period last year.

Below are the busiest Thanksgiving 2019 travel days in MCO, from the busiest to the least busy. (Departures and arrivals):

Travel dateTotal number of travelers
Saturday November 30169,890
Sunday December 1163,030
Saturday 23 November161 167
Friday 22 November155,824
Sunday November 24154,270
Monday December 2nd152,025
Wednesday November 27150,403
Tuesday November 26143 140
Monday 25 November140 145
Friday November 29131,709
Tuesday 3 December131,446
Thursday November 28100 314

If you are traveling, Brown reminded passengers that the TSA now allows you to bring up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in your carry-on, well above the usual 3.4-ounce bottles.

Travelers may also notice fewer passengers, as TSA data shows airport travel has declined 74% since May and cases continue to climb across the country.

People used to book three months, but because of COVID-19 it’s sometimes a week now, Engle said. They are going to wait so long and wait to see how the numbers are.

Orlando International Airport
Orlando International Airport

Brown pointed out that the OIA is still unable to receive flights from the European Union and the UK, and limited flights from Brazil, in addition to restrictions in the US.

You have quarantines in the tri-state area, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, he said. So this will have a certain impact. How we measure this, it’s pretty hard right now to guess what it is. It is worrying, but it is worrying for the whole country.

Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.

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