What to expect during holiday air travel this year

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HOUSTON (CW39) It’s about the time of year to start thinking of when to go visit family members and if you plan to fly or drive. There is no question COVID-19 has made an impact on the economy and has especially hurt the travel industry.

Airlines for America research shows passenger flights are down about 62% domestically and about 79% internationally. Nearly one-third of the U.S. fleet is still idled.

National surveys, however, are showing more people are ready to leave home and travel. So what should you know if you’re thinking of flying this holiday season? For starters, you will need to wear a mask through the airport, through TSA and throughout your flight. Airports have increased their cleaning measures and you will likely see plexiglass shields up around TSA and ticketing areas.

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“I recommend to people as soon as you purchase your ticket, go to your phone and make sure you have your carrier’s app on it. That is by far the most effective and efficient way for a carrier to update you if there is any change or update to your flight or anything else about your travel plans. But it also means that you can check in from home, you can do your quick health form online too and you never have to touch anything at the airport,” said Rebecca Spicer with Airlines for America.

Houston airports have a Fly Safe Houston commitment. You can read more about what to expect at Hobby and IAH here.

Spicer also advises not to assume you can get to the airport lsat minute because there are fewer people traveling. She says actually, she would caution the opposite. She suggests allowing some extra time due to the changes.

Also keep in mind, some of the kiosks and restaurants still have not reopened, so if you are going to need a snack or a drink, pack a snack and an empty water bottle that you can fill up on the other side of TSA.

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