BTV sees significant drop in travelers this Thanksgiving

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The week of Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest times of the year for travel, but this year, that’s no longer the case.

“We’re at about 3,000 passengers right now for this week,” said Aviation Director Gene Richards. “We typically a year ago would have had 10-11,000, so we’re about a third of what our business has been.”

Nationally, AAA is projecting at least a 10% drop in air travel. Richards says the low numbers are a good sign.

“That means we’re being successful at the message being sent out there,” he said. “I think that its important that people restrain from traveling right now and I think that’s working.”

“I’m not worried about my behavior, I’m worried about my fellow passengers not following the guidelines put in place to keep us safe,” said UVM student Ava Williams.

Williams had to head home, she has nearly a 3 month break from classes, given the new college schedule.

“I’ve taken a lot of precautions to make sure I get home safely,” she said. “I got tested on Monday, I received a negative test result today. The last thing I want to do is get anyone in my family sick, but its also really difficult to stay on campus.”

Passengers arriving into BTV say their overall experience was a safe one. Even for college students who call Burlington home.

“All the airlines were good about social distancing, everyone has masks on,” said Ely Giroux, a student traveling home to Vermont. “It felt like people actually cared and it was a safe environment.”

Richards adds that they’ve stepped up cleaning efforts and are working to improve filtration as well.

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