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Travelers at IND airport not overly concerned with latest COVID-19 surge

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Experts predict Dec. 23, the Thursday before Christmas Eve, will likely be the busiest travel day of the year nationwide.

Despite the latest COVID-19 surge, those trends are expected to carry on for at least another week.

Indianapolis International Airport is no exception.

Officials predict between 14,000 and 16,000 people will depart daily. Some of those travelers said Thursday they’ll be carrying extra precautions along with their luggage on the plane.

“Yeah, I got tested before I booked my flight and everything,” Tatiana Wilson said.

Meredith Hite said, “I’m more concerned I guess when I travel I’m thinking about my health.”

However, they say the current state of COVID-19 spread wasn’t enough to keep them home alone for the holidays.

“No, it wasn’t. Given my current health condition, and I consider myself pretty healthy, I don’t have any issues traveling,” Hite said.

Wilson said, “It’s been a while since I’ve seen family so I’m pretty excited to go there and catch up and stuff.”

Other travelers said they didn’t take any extra steps to prepare for their trips.

“Nope not really, just wearing a mask in the airport. I’m not really concerned about it,” said one traveler.

Kandi Hosted said, “We’ve made the choice to be vaccinated but just following the normal wearing masks and washing hands.”

Earlier this week, officials told News 8 the airport had increased fire and police presence in the morning hours for the next two weeks to help with customer service. They said part of that is due to the surge in COVID cases.

“We want to make sure we have more than we need to provide customers answers to their questions and if they have anxiety about flying or any questions they may have because a lot of the lines are going to be long,” said Mario Rodriguez, executive director of Indianapolis International Airport.

Airport officials said the busiest travel time during the holidays is in the morning. During those hours they said it could take you 30 minutes to get through security.

They also said it’s a good idea to show up at least two hours before your flight.