SHD reports holiday travel is back to pre-pandemic levels

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 5:14 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Many people are set to travel on the roads Thursday night, as they make their way to holiday gatherings.

AAA projects about 91% of travelers will do so by car. Meanwhile, the Shenandoah Valley Airport (SHD) is still seeing quite a bit of air traffic.

Heather Ream, Marketing and Communications Director with SHD, said the airport is a popular choice for those traveling to and from the Valley this holiday season. This year, SHD has seen a rise in passengers over other years.

“Throughout this whole year, we’ve really averaged about a 15% increase over our previous pre-COVID numbers,” Ream said.

Ream said airlines are comparing 2021 to 2019, since 2020 was unprecedented. However, most airlines are still struggling to get back to those 2019 numbers.

“We’ve had an increase coming out of the pandemic, so we’re really pleased, and we really attribute that to the fact that people are feeling more comfortable traveling from a smaller airport, less crowded travel experiences,” Ream said.

Ream said you should be ready to wait in lines if you’re traveling, especially at larger airports. There are things you can do to make it go smoothly, though.

“Make sure that you have packed smart, and you have all of your liquids and everything separated out and you’ve reviewed TSA guidelines on to make sure you’re packing well, so you’ll go through security quickly. Wear your mask, make sure that you’re kind,” Ream said.

Ream advises you “pack your patience,” especially at peak travel times.

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