GREENSBORO, N.C. — Millions of Americans are traveling ahead of Christmas and New Year's, despite pleas from public health officials to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Piedmont international Airport's Executive Director Kevin Baker said there have been much less flyers this year in the Triad.
Baker called the number of travelers this year 'sad' as the airport has seen 30% of it's normal traffic during the pandemic.
"Yesterday [on Wednesday} I think we had 1,500 people," Baker explained. "That number is compared to the biggest holiday travel day of last year which was 5,000-6,000 passengers, so these are pretty sad numbers to see."
Now it's tapering off to hundreds heading to the airport each day.
Baker said PTI is as safe and sanitary as possible for all coming through.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic we had 'PTI prepared,' so we've been doing extra cleaning, extra sanitizing, and of course social distancing."
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approximates one million people a day passed through the nations airport security checkpoints since the weekend. That number is down about 60% from last year.
Baker said PTI is experiencing similar low volume.
"We're operating at 30-35% of normal it's just really sad not to have a bunch of people walking through there."
Baker doesn't believe there will be a post-Christmas rush to return.
"With this year everything is so different, people are taking longer trips if they're working remotely they can work wherever they are."
Still, if you have to pick up a loved one, the airport urges you stay outside.
"We ask that people who are dropping off or picking up passengers remain outside the building just to have less people in the building."