Make way for travelers this season because people in the Champlain Valley are making and keeping their summer plans.
Between the Burlington International Airport and gas stations around the region, people are getting out and traveling, whether its to reunite with loved ones or change their scenery for the first time since the pandemic, not to mention with July 4th around the corner.
“We’re just getting home, we went to go see my family for the first time in Wisconsin since like January of 2020,” said Vermonter Meg Newlin.
Newlin said she waited until she and her children were fully vaccinated before getting on a plane.
“‘It was crowded, I was kind of surprised because it seems like now they’re selling all the seats, which makes sense.”
BTV’s Deputy Director of Aviation Nic Longo says he’s seeing an upward trend in traffic — numbers that are closely matching those before Covid.
“Next week, in fact, starting Sunday to Saturday of next week, we’re looking at some of our highest numbers in the past 18 months,” said Longo.
That’s more than 18,000 passengers flying in and out of the state next week. Longo says he expects air travel to increase well into the summer.
“July-August time, those are our, historically, our peak months every single year. Even though the pandemic hit, we’ll see the same trend lines going across the board,” said Longo.
He says the airport is making a significant comeback after the pandemic. Longo says there are nearly 50 flights a day with most planes filled to max capacity.
With travel on the rise, gas prices are creeping up around the nation. But, the best deal in Vermont is at an Irving station in Rutland at $2.84 cents in cash. In the North Country, Buck’s Plaza in Plattsburgh is going for $3. In Grafton County, New Hampshire, the Golden Pond Country store is charging $2.79 per gallon.
“We’ve been staying here in Burlington since the advent of the pandemic. We’re really Philadelphians and have a second home here. So eventually, I think our summer plans eventually involve heading back to Philedalphia,”said traveler Brian Otelere.
Longo says flyers can expect the airport to be busy towards the end of the week on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. BTV is also still following the CDC’s guidance and requiring masks inside the airport.