Air travel returning as COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out

BOSTON — As more people are getting the COVID-19 vaccine, more people are hitting the road and taking to the skies.

On Thursday, 1.5 million passengers were counted at TSA checkpoints.

At the height of the pandemic, a year ago, the number was just 150,000 travelers.

Alan Roy of Andover, CT told me he booked and rebooked his California trip to see his new grandchild several times during the pandemic, and only now feels safe enough to fly.

“There is so much uncertainty,” Roy said. “You don’t know what you should or shouldn’t do. You don’t want to get your health in trouble, so you try to do what you think is the right thing. And now it feels like it is getting easier.”

At Logan Airport, and airports across New England, business is clearly coming back.

“The bookings have just been nuts. Everybody is just wanting to go somewhere,” Travel Agent Kate Donohue said.

Donohue has noticed her business picking up for weeks, not surprisingly, as the COVID-19 vaccines have become more widely available.

“People are getting vaccinated, the weather is starting to get a little bit nicer. People are just ready. They are ready to get out of their homes,” Donohue said. “They just want to make up for some of the vacations they had to cancel.”

On Friday, Karan Dyson of Boston was getting ready to fly to Cincinnati. She told me she is looking forward to flying to more destinations.

“I’m actually going to get my second COVID-19 shot on Sunday,” Dyson said. “So, it feels really good to get back to normal and see normal things again.”

Travel remains restricted to many parts of the world.

However, New Englanders mostly are booking their flights to the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and Florida.

On Friday, Devon O’Connell was excited to catch her flight to Tampa.

“I just need to get out, it’s been a hard year,” O’Connell said.

With more people flying, high airfares are a given.

Travel Agent Donohue advises, if you see an affordable airfare, you should grab it, before prices climb again.

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