ROANOKE, Va. – Holiday travel is already in swing with more people hitting the road rather than flying by air.
On Tuesday, 700 people came through the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, making it the busiest day the airport has seen since start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s still trending above the national average and it’s a significant bump from where we were a couple of weeks ago,” said Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport marketing and air service development director Brad Boettcher.
But overall, it looks like airports are taking a major hit, as this year is already a record-breaking one, according to AAA.
“We anticipate this Thanksgiving to be the lowest number of air travelers on record,” said AAA government and public affairs manager Martha Meade.
Over at ROA, Boettcher said the airport’s traffic is down 40%.
“From our perspective with the pandemic, we came into it with fairly low expectations,” Boettcher said.
Instead, 82% of holiday travelers are opting to drive this year, Meade said.