SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Concerns about the omicron variant of COVID-19 aren’t stopping holiday travelers at Bay Area airports. But many taking to the skies for the first time in a while are finding out, it’s complicated.
Khadijah Camara of Oakland and her son are heading to Guinea for a family reunion, but are running into unexpected roadblocks.READ MORE: Fans Rally Behind Road Warrior San Francisco 49ers; Will Tickets Be Available For NFC Championship Game?
“The website said PCR or antigen,” Camara told KPIX 5.
They paid for rapid antigen tests in Oakland recently but were told they needed a $300 PCR test at check-in at San Francisco International Airport.
“All the stress that goes on with the holiday traveling you have to put up with all of that. It’s just crazy,” said Camara.
A last-minute change at work is forcing Maityre Paul to catch a flight to Dublin, Ireland with her child and also to wait in line for an expensive PCR test as well.
“There’s an emergency, I have to get things done in the next few days. Since I’m vaccinated I feel a little bit confident to travel,” said Paul, a Cupertino resident.READ MORE: Hazardous Sneaker Waves Threaten San Francisco Beachcombers
Security checkpoint numbers at SFO indicate people are following through on travel plans despite rising case counts.
“I think the real test will be just how much does it drop off in January, in terms of airlines reducing their flight schedules. But for now, they’re maintaining it through the holiday season,” said SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel.
The waiting and hurdles aren’t fun for travelers but a much needed beverage made in Dublin is in sight for some.
“We’ll see how many Guinness’s because I have my kid with me. Maybe not so many, but yes, definitely a couple,” said Paul.
So is the glorious gift of family joy.
“I’m putting myself through all this stress, you know? It will be worth it,” said Camara.MORE NEWS: Film Fans Tell New Castro Theatre Managers To Keep It Reel
Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be the two busiest travel days before Christmas according to the Transportation Security Administration.