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Thanksgiving travel at TLH returning close to pre-pandemic level

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 8:46 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Officials at Tallahassee International Airport say Monday and Tuesday were two of the busiest days of Thanksgiving week, due to many college students leaving early for the holiday.

TSA security lines at TLH reached their peak on Tuesday morning between 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. as five flights departed between that time period.

Deputy Director of Aviation at TLH, Jim Durwin, said the uptick in passenger traffic started this weekend and the travel rush will slow down on Wednesday and Thursday as many travelers have already reached their destination. He expects traffic to pick up again on Saturday and Sunday at TLH.

Durwin said the airport is recovering well from the pandemic as passenger traffic in October was about 10% lower than what they saw in 2019. He said in April 2020, TLH saw a 96% drop in passenger traffic. He expects the number of travelers this Thanksgiving to be very close to pre-pandemic levels.

“We continue to recover well and we feel like our passenger traffic for this holiday season will be very close to 2019. Maybe just a little lower, but really close to 2019 numbers”, Durwin said.

This comes a day after all TSA employees were required to be vaccinated against coronavirus due to a federal mandate. Durwin said staffing isn’t an issue at TLH this Thanksgiving week.

“All of our partners, including TSA, the airlines, and first responders are fully staffed and ready to go. We are excited to see the passengers come back through Tallahassee”, Durwin said.

TLH is advising passengers to wear a mask and arrive at least 90 minutes before their flight, especially in the mornings, to ensure a smooth travel experience.

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