Thanksgiving air travel down, but KCI sees signs of a rebound

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Despite public health warnings not to travel for Thanksgiving, Wednesday is expected to be busy at KCI Airport.

Yet, the virus may be helping spread out crowds over more travel days this season. Airport managers say Thanksgiving travel started picking up as early as last Friday.

With more people working from home and more children not in school, there’s more flexibility for those traveling.

180,000 passengers are expected to fly in-and-out of KCI between November 20 and December 1.
That’s a 55% drop in passenger traffic compared with holiday travel during the same period last year.

Zan Tori just attended her last class Tuesday at the University of Kansas. She has to travel home to Texas, because her college is shutting down for the next five weeks.

“My flight goes to California. Then it goes to Texas,” Tori, an athlete on KU’s track team, said. “So I’m actually going to a lot of states. Hopefully, I have my gloves on to keep safe and make sure I wear my Germ X and wear my mask.”

Many airlines are still blocking seats in their planes for distancing. That’s helping to limit the traffic count. However, Wednesday will be the first time KCI will have more than 200 flights scheduled since March.

Nonstop service also is being restored from KCI to some sunny spots, like Los Angeles, Albuquerque, N.M., Austin, San Diego and Fort Myers, Fla.

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