Friday, February 26
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Thanksgiving travel far from record-breaking at Des Moines International Airport – KCCI Des Moines

Thanksgiving typically marks one of the busiest travel times of the year, but 2020 will likely be an exception to the rule.Warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to travel due to COVID-19 cases have contributed to less travel at Des Moines International Airport.“We’ve had record years for multiple years in a row, and this year, it’s just looking different,” said Kayla Kovarna with the Des Moines International Airport.Kovarna said Des Moines International Airport’s October data show only 43% fewer customers flew out of Des Moines compared to 2019.The airport expects customers to increase by about 50% over Thanksgiving, meaning about half the normal numbers of flyers are staying home.“We haven’t gone on a vacation all year because of the virus,” Thanksgiving traveler Eric Petty said. “There’s nowhere to go, and I think most of America is like that.” Petty traveled from Des Moines to Las Vegas to visit relatives for Thanksgiving. He said the risk of traveling during the pandemic is one he is willing to take.“The whole point is just wanting to see people we love, and that’s the important thing,” Petty said. Kovarna said the goal for this Thanksgiving is to keep everyone safe.“Make sure you wear your mask the duration of the entire trip, here in the airport terminal and on the aircraft as well,” she said.Des Moines International Airport said it predicts 70% of flyers will return to the skies by the end of 2021.

Thanksgiving typically marks one of the busiest travel times of the year, but 2020 will likely be an exception to the rule.

Warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not to travel due to COVID-19 cases have contributed to less travel at Des Moines International Airport.

“We’ve had record years for multiple years in a row, and this year, it’s just looking different,” said Kayla Kovarna with the Des Moines International Airport.

Kovarna said Des Moines International Airport’s October data show only 43% fewer customers flew out of Des Moines compared to 2019.

The airport expects customers to increase by about 50% over Thanksgiving, meaning about half the normal numbers of flyers are staying home.

“We haven’t gone on a vacation all year because of the virus,” Thanksgiving traveler Eric Petty said. “There’s nowhere to go, and I think most of America is like that.”

Petty traveled from Des Moines to Las Vegas to visit relatives for Thanksgiving.

He said the risk of traveling during the pandemic is one he is willing to take.

“The whole point is just wanting to see people we love, and that’s the important thing,” Petty said.

Kovarna said the goal for this Thanksgiving is to keep everyone safe.

“Make sure you wear your mask the duration of the entire trip, here in the airport terminal and on the aircraft as well,” she said.

Des Moines International Airport said it predicts 70% of flyers will return to the skies by the end of 2021.

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