SEATAC, Wash. — The Port of Seattle estimates 1.5 million people passed through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport over Thanksgiving weekend. The numbers are approaching, but have yet to reach, pre-pandemic levels.
“The planes are full, people are out and about,” said Rhonda Lozier of Tacoma.
“Coming out from Cleveland was no hitch, no problem. It was a direct flight. It was a packed flight. We kept our masks on the whole time, no big deal,” added traveler Gwen Humphrey.
The estimated 1.5 million travelers would mark a 150% increase over 2020. It would be a boost in travel as the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads.
Scientist are now working to learn more about the mutation.
“You don’t want people to panic but you want to know that we’re doing everything we can to stay ahead of this,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's chief medical advisor.
Another variant spreading obviously isn’t ideal but it wasn't keeping people at home over the holiday weekend.
“I just feel like I’ve been vaccinated, got my booster, I have a healthy immune system. If I have to get another booster in six months, whatever, so be it. But I’m no longer living my life in fear, I’m done,” Humphrey said.
“I’m boostered. I work at a hospital, I see COVID patients everyday. So it doesn’t matter – life goes on as normal,” traveler Robert Lozier said.
Nationwide, travelers are setting records. The Transportation and Security Agency reported 2.3 million people passed through security checkpoints on the day before Thanksgiving, marking the busiest travel day the country has seen since March of 2020.