SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — This holiday travel season, the lines at airports are already looking a lot different than they did last year, as you can imagine. Expect it to be busy at airports, similar to pre-COVID levels.
Because of vaccines, there’s an overwhelming sense that it’s safe to travel, but there are some things to consider before you book that flight.READ MORE: COVID: Expert Says New Omicron Coronavirus Variant Likely Already in U.S.
“As soon as you hear someone coughing, everybody’s looking and trying to get away,” said Irina Mirkina.
But that’s not stopping travelers like Nicky McLamb, who’s a nurse and knows exactly what COVID can do.
“I’m vaccinated so I feel pretty comfortable,” said Nicky McLamb.
AAA forecasts Thanksgiving air-travel will be up 80% compared to last year.
“Domestic travel is operating at effectively pre-COVID levels,” said Marc Casto of Light Centre Travel Group.
Before traveling for the holidays, epidemiologists recommend considering a few things, including vaccination status of attendees and level of community transmission.READ MORE: 2 Men Shot Outside High School Football Game in Campbell
“The numbers are starting to increase again in the U.S. and it’s definitely exploding in Europe with 50% of the world’s cases,” said UCSF infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.
“The scary part of traveling is going to an area that’s not taking it seriously as we are here,” said Berkeley resident Debbie Dill.
Medical risk of the household and setting of a gathering should also be considered.
For parents with unvaccinated children, travel becomes a little tricky.
“I would feel a bit nervous about traveling if my kids were unvaccinated but as a vaccinated person, I would feel more confident especially as a boosted vaccinated person,” said Chin-Hong.
Lines will be longer because of the uptick in demand and because of the staffing shortage with TSA workers.MORE NEWS: Federal Court Blocks COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for California Prisons
Travel experts say having TSA Pre-Check status will save you a lot of time.