Thanksgiving Travel

Thanksgiving Travelers, Some Concerned About New Covid Variant, Come Home to DC Area

The flight home comes as a new coronavirus variant has surfaced in southern Africa and is beginning to spread, stoking fears of a return to restricted travel once again.  

NBC Universal, Inc. Dulles International Airport was busy inside, but not jampacked. Many travelers said everything went smoothly and that they felt comfortable. News4’s Darcy Spencer reports.

At Dulles International Airport, Thanksgiving travelers made their way home Sunday night. Some who haven’t traveled since the start of the pandemic don’t want another holiday to go by without spending it with family. 

Overall, many said the experience was positive and that they felt safe.

“I haven’t visited my daughter in a year, so I was visiting her in Seattle,” one mother said. “It was wonderful.”

The flight home comes as a new coronavirus variant has surfaced in southern Africa and is beginning to spread, stoking fears of a return to restricted travel once again.  

“Yes, I’m concerned. I’m glad I got my traveling done and I went home, because who knows in the future how that’s going to impact flying and all that,” the woman added. 

The airport was busy all day with travelers from the U.S. and abroad. One man who returned from India, where his mother died from COVID-19, said he believes everything is being done to keep air travel safe.

“I already got my booster shot, so I’m not scared now. I feel safe after getting the vaccine,” he said.  

Earlier, traffic backed up for at least a mile heading into the terminals. Crowds returned to the ticket counters and baggage areas, signs that people are ready for a return to holiday traditions.

“This is the first chance I got an opportunity to do it, and we did it and it wasn’t bad at all. It was nice,” another traveler said. 

Some said they have plans to travel again for Christmas, hoping the new variant doesn’t change their plans.