Tucson International serviced about 4,000 travelers day before Thanksgiving

Holiday Travel

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The day before Thanksgiving is known to be the busiest day for air travel during Thanksgiving week, and this year is no different.

Despite the CDC advising everyone to stay home, thousands are still traveling.

“You can’t stop seeing family, you know? No matter what the guidelines say,” said Daniel Felos, a Montana traveler.

Felos is visiting his grandparents. He said he only gets to see them once a year, and missing out on a homemade meal wasn’t an option.

“You can protest, correct- so why can’t you travel?” he added. “Can’t stop Thanksgiving, Christmas or the holidays.”

And Felos is only one of many.

Cesar La Chica works out of state and just got back from Nevada. He was happy to reunite with his family today after three weeks.

“Having the opportunity to travel and spend time with the family is always important. It’s something to be grateful for,” La Chica said.

As a frequent traveler, La Chica said he feels comfortable about how things are handled at airports.

“People are doing a pretty good job at keeping things going,” he said.

Although Tucson International Airport has rarely seen any full flights this year, Vice President of Administration Dick Gruentzel said that changed these past two weekends, with flights almost 70% full.

“We’ve been seeing on average about 45% of last year’s traffic levels around this time of year,” Gruentzel said.

Today alone, about 4,000 people traveled through TIA.

Gruentzel encouraged travelers to take advantage of the free COVID testing sites inside the airports.

“They’re getting somewhere between 200 to 300 people a day, so I think it’s a good number,” he said.

The testing site at TIA is located near baggage claim five and is open Friday through Monday. Results can take up to 72 hours.

Airport officials said about 80,000 people will travel through Tucson from Nov. 21-30.

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