MOLINE, Ill. — If you are someone traveling for the holidays this year, you are not alone. In fact, AAA estimates more than 109 million Americans will travel for the holidays. "Americans who had to cancel getaways and get-togethers last year because of the pandemic are making up for lost time this holiday season. " AAA said in their holiday travel forecast. That's expected to be a 34% increase in travel over 2020.
The Quad Cities International Airport saw over Thanksgiving saw a 94% recovery of outbound passengers. The national total was about 89% recovered for the same time period of the Tuesday - Sunday of Thanksgiving. These numbers are expected to continue to increase. "If you did travel last year, this year is going to feel quite a bit busier." said Ashleigh Davis with the Quad Cities International Airport. "If you haven't traveled since 2019, and you're expected a different experience, the crowds will feel the same." Davis says there are still some things to keep in mind. "For example, having to wear a mask in all US airports. There is COVID-19 restrictions, if you're travelling internationally or specific states."
Davis says you should still arrive about 2 hours before your flight as a good rule of thumb. For your returning flight to the Quad Cities, if you are flying back from a larger airport, some, like Orlando International Airport are suggesting you arrive around 3 hours before your flight.
Many people will bring gifts with them and Davis recommends not wrapping them before you leave. "While you can technically bring wrapped gifts through security, if they need to take a look at something you have to unwrap it anyways which is just a headache for you. If make the process all the more stressful and long. So leave those gifts unwrapped." Davis says you should also be mindful of weight limits for luggage if you plan to bring gifts back with you. Check with your airline for weight restrictions.
Davis says a big mistake she sees at the Quad Cities International Airport is people not having necessary documents on their person. Things like your ID, or negative test result if applicable, or vaccination card.