Holiday travel down at Eppley Airfield in 2020

Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 11:02 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Fewer people are traveling through Eppley Airfield during this year’s holiday travel period which starts Dec. 18 and runs through Jan. 3.

Director of Air Service and Business Development, Steve McCoy, says about 100,000 people are expected to come through Omaha’s airport during that time. That’s down 56% from the 235,000 passengers during last year’s holiday travel season.

“Obviously increased cases of COVID-19 across the nation continue to impact air travel demand, but it will be busier than recent weeks and months here,” said McCoy.

Because of the spread of COVID-19 across the country, Eppley Airfield is keeping its COVID safety measures in place to promote a safe and healthy travel environment. Some of the measures include increased cleaning of common touchpoints, touchless technology, hand-sanitizing stations, promoting social distancing, and requiring face coverings.

“We want to make sure travelers know the airport is providing for a safe and healthy environment and make sure they have confidence in the flying experience,” McCoy said.

Health experts are once again urging people to stay home and only celebrate with immediate family. But with millions of Americans still expected to fly this holiday season, they are pleading with travelers to follow health guidelines at airports.

“What we typically worry about is the terminals which are crowded,” said Dr. Mark Rupp, professor and chief of infectious diseases at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Standing in line at security, or boarding the airplane, these are places where people continue to congregate in close proximity to one another and this is where we’re most concerned.”

He says you should also take into consideration who is going to be at your holiday gathering. If a friend or family member is at a higher-risk for COVID-19, you should reconsider your own attendance.

“Be safe, be careful, think twice, those are things people should be taking to heart as we go through the holidays,” said Dr. Rupp.

He also mentioned with a COVID vaccine being rolled out around the country, next year’s Christmas will hopefully look much different than this one.

Steve McCoy also reminds travelers, because it’s winter, travelers should always check the weather and stay in touch with their airline to check their flight status.

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