While airports are still mostly empty, air travel is certainly picking up. The TSA has screened more people in the past week than any other time in the past year, more than 1 million a day for seven straight days.
The uptick comes as restrictions loosen and vaccinations ramp up.
For people like Alan and Naomi Spiegelman of Mill Valley, it was time for an escape.
“It was so nice to just be able to get away after having spent a year in our home,” said Alan.
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The couple is in Hawaii right now after getting fully vaccinated. They warn traveling is still tricky but worth it.
“We’ve been playing golf and going to the pool,” Alan said. “Just being outside and in a different environment.”
The CDC is still advising against leisure travel, but more people are making plans. Travel consultant Christina Turrini of San Francisco says her clients are opting for Tahiti, Mexico and Hawaii.
“We’re getting a lot of people calling saying, ‘I’ve been vaccinated, I want to go. I’m ready,’” said Turrini of Frosch Travel.
She says it’s critical to do research on your destination to navigate the ever changing restrictions. But now is a good time to book for summer.
“I’ve never seen it in the past 12 months be so generous in terms of cancellations, waivers and changes,” said Turrini.
U.S. airline passenger levels are still down 57% from two years ago, and because there are far fewer flights, passengers come in waves. At Mineta San Jose International Airport on Wednesday, frequent travelers noticed the change.
“I’d encourage people to try and get out now,” Alan said.