Christmas travel: Flight attendant tips for reducing stress at airports


To go above and beyond, take a gift for the flight attendants. Simpson says flight attendants love an unexpected treat or goodie bag from passengers. She recommends sealed snacks (candies or pastries), gift cards for coffee, unopened lip balm, hand sanitizer, chewing gum, vitamin C packs and moisturizing masks that help them regroup on layovers.



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Winter Storm Izzy: States Declare Emergencies; Travel Advisories Issued for Major Airports from Iowa to New York | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel


  • A portion of I-35 in Des Moines was closed.
  • Several airlines issued travel advisories for dozens of airports.
  • Schools closed Friday in Des Moines and some other districts in Iowa.
  • Residents in affected areas are asked to stay home.

Residents in some areas are being asked to stay home, airlines are preparing for delays and crews are working to clear and prep roads from Iowa to New York as a winter storm is set to bring snow, ice, wind and frigid temperatures across a wide swath of the U.S. over the upcoming holiday weekend.

The storm, named Izzy by The Weather Channel, left roads covered with snow and ice in parts of Iowa and Minnesota Friday as officials in points south and east declared emergencies ahead of the storm.

(FORECAST: Winter Storm Izzy to Spread Mess of Snow, Ice from Midwest into South and East into MLK Weekend)

Here’s a look at the effects of – and planning for – Izzy so far:

Emergency Declarations Issued in Southern States

The governors of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina all issued emergency declarations on Friday. All advised residents to prepare before the storm moves in.

“This storm will bring significant impacts from snow, sleet and freezing rain in different parts of the state, with likely power outages and travel disruptions,” Cooper said in a news release. “North Carolinians should pay close attention to their local weather forecast over the next few days, and make sure they are personally prepared before Saturday afternoon.”

Several Airlines Waive Change Fees for Holiday Weekend

American, Delta, Southwest, JetBlue and Spirit airlines issued travel advisories and waived change fees at dozens of airports in the path of the storm.

Major citites affected include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

West Virginia in ‘State of Preparedness’

Gov. Jim Justice placed the state on alert to prepare for winter weather. The move signals the state Emergency Operations Center and related agencies to be ready to posture personnel and resources should an emergency develop.

Iowa Interstate Closed

A portion of Interstate 35 was closed at around 12:30 p.m. CST due to a sideways truck blocking both lanes. The road reopened about an hour later. Travelers should check 511 for current road conditions.

Schools Closed in Some Areas Friday

Des Moines Public Schools canceled classes Friday. Several other school districts in Central Iowa also called off school or announced early dismissals.

Drivers Faced Slick Commutes

More than 200 plows were on the roads in Iowa Friday morning and operations continued throughout the day and evening, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s road conditions map.

Roads were already slick in the early morning and the Iowa State Patrol asked motorists in affected areas to stay home if possible.

Kansas City’s Snowplow Map Was Busy, Too

Kansas City’s snowplow map showed crews active on streets across the city Friday evening. Some schools in the region closed Thursday and Friday, but that was due to issues related to COVID-19.

Next Up for Izzy: The Southeast

The storm is moving to the East and into the South.

“This will lead to snow for some and ice for others, and for parts of Georgia and the Carolinas, it means rapidly changing conditions from snow to ice and possibly back again,” weather.com meteorologist Belles said. “Saturday and Sunday will be nasty for driving in some of these spots, but the last part of the holiday weekend on Monday will give some drier and warmer weather. Be prepared for bad road conditions and the possibility of losing power from north Georgia to the inland Carolinas.”

You can track Izzy with our maps, radar, forecasts, timing and other information here.

Georgia One of Many States Prepping Roads

The Georgia Department of Transportation has more than 50,000 tons of salt and about 46,000 tons of gravel on hand, as well as 407 snow removal dump trucks.

“Winter weather is predicted in North Georgia and metro Atlanta this weekend. GDOT is preparing brine operations, equipment, materials, and staff to respond to the threat,” the agency said in a tweet. “We will continue to monitor conditions as the storm evolves.”

A GDOT official told The Weather Channel Thursday that people in affected areas should stay home and avoid travel.’

Here are five things to know about snow and ice in the South.

Shoppers Face Shortages that Could Get Worse

Shelves that held ham products are partially empty at a grocery in Fairfax Virginia, on January 13, 2022. - On Thursday grocery stores still have empty shelves amid supply chain disruptions, omicron and winter storms. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Shelves that held ham products are partially empty at a grocery in Fairfax Virginia, on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.

(OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

While shoppers stocked up on the usual bread, milk and other goods, one expert warned that the storm could impact the already stressed U.S. supply chain.

”From an impact perspective, with this kind of weather scenario, all it would take is an accident or two for major Interstate closures to occur,” Francisco Alvarez, lead meteorologist for trucking network Convoy, told weather.com in an email Thursday.

Alvarez cited Midwest highways as a major concern, for example.

“Basically if you could make a box between Omaha, Sioux Falls, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Des Moines, that will be the most dangerous travel area for truckers,” as Izzy moves through the region, he said.

Safety Tips

All drivers need to be aware in areas that the storm will pass through.

Click here for our list of “9 Things to Keep In Your Car If You Must Travel in a Winter Storm.”

And here are some driving safety tips and other winter storm advice issued ahead by the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management ahead of the storm:

-Avoid unnecessary travel in affected areas. If you must travel, make sure your vehicle is in good working condition, your cell phone is charged and extra blankets and snacks are packed in case of delays.

-If you lose power, know how to report the outage to your utility company and have alternate, safe means of staying warm.

-Wrap exposed pipes or take other measures to insulate them from the cold and prevent freezing, which causes pipes to burst.

-If you have a fireplace, have plenty of dry seasoned wood.

-Winter is the most active season for house fires. Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them.

-Practice proper carbon monoxide safety: Vent kerosene heaters, do not burn charcoal indoors and keep portable generators outdoors away from windows and doors.

-Have a stock of batteries.

-Keep pets and domestic animals in a warm place with access to food and water.

-Check on anyone who may need extra help during winter weather.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.





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5G Service Is Being Banned at 50 U.S. Airports — Best Life


From leaving bags unattended to carrying certain items through security, there are many things you’re forbidden from doing at the airport. But while you might think you know all there is to know about what you can and can’t do while traveling, federal regulators are always putting new policies in place that can trip up even the most experienced flyers. Now, officials are getting ready to ban one thing at 50 airports in the country, starting Jan. 19. Read on to find out what will not be allowed in just over a week.

RELATED: The CDC Just Banned You From Bringing This on Flights.

She looks out the window, waiting to board plane
iStock

Both AT&T and Verizon are planning to initiate their new 5G C-band service on Jan. 19, but it won’t be available everywhere. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) just released a list of 50 U.S. airports where 5G service will be banned, starting on that date, Reuters reported. According to the news outlet, these airports will have mandatory buffer zones around them to prevent the service from being used. The list of airports ranges all across the U.S., including major destinations like Newark Liberty International, Dallas-Forth Worth International, Chicago O’Hare International, and Los Angeles International.

5G communications tower with man using mobile phone
iStock

According to the FAA, this ban and these buffer zones are being implemented to “help reduce the risk of disruption” that 5G service might have on certain flights. The agency is particularly worried that the frequencies used for this new wireless service—which are in a radio spectrum called the C-band—can be too close to the frequencies used by a radar altimeter. The altimeter tool is an “important piece of safety equipment in aircraft,” the FAA says.

“Landings during periods of low visibility could be limited due to concerns that the 5G signal could interfere with the accuracy of an airplane’s radio altimeter, without other mitigations in place,” FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford explain to The Verge.

RELATED: For more travel news delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Family, Sitting, Waiting, Boarding, Airport
iStock

Due to the potential risk of disruption, only airports not using 5G will be able to service low-visibility flights for at least six months to “minimize potential 5G interference with sensitive aircraft instruments used in low-visibility landings,” the FAA said. But according to the agency, this does “not necessarily” mean that flights won’t be able to land in low visibility at airports that are not among the 50 listed, according to Reuters.

Some airports—like Denver, Atlanta, and Ronald Reagan Washington National—were not included on the list because wireless carriers have not yet planned to deploy 5G service in their markets. And others are not on the list because “5G towers are far enough away that a natural buffer exists,” the FAA said.

at&t logo
Shutterstock

Both AT&T and Verizon have been delaying their 5G rollout since last year, when federal aviation officials first brought up concerns. The initial deployment was planned for Dec. 5 and was then pushed back until Jan. 5 before officials asked for another two-week delay. The wireless companies originally declined the second delay request before entering a new agreement with regulators. Under this agreement, both wireless carriers will initiate their 5G service on Jan. 19, but at a lower power than they otherwise planned to and with the planned buffers around “no more than 50 priority airports,” according to The New York Times.

“If there’s the possibility of a risk to the flying public, we are obligated to pause the activity, until we can prove it is safe,” the FAA said in a Jan. 7 statement. “The FAA continues to work with the aerospace manufacturers and wireless companies to make sure 5G is safely deployed and to limit the risk of flight disruptions at all airports.”

RELATED: If You’re Offered This at the Airport, Just Say No, Experts Warn.



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Airlines for America Pushes Emergency Petition to Delay 5G Service Initiation Near U.S. Airports


Wireless giants AT&T and Verizon are set to deploy new
5G wireless services in the United States on Jan. 5 even as the airline
industry implores the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to delay the service
initiation amid concerns over interference with aircraft radar instruments that
could precipitate flight delays and cancellations. 

Airline industry group Airlines for America submitted to the
FCC on Dec. 30 an emergency petition to delay 5G service initiation around 135 U.S.
airport locations. The petition cited the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s
December airworthiness directives based on a report from radio standards nonprofit
group RTCA that found radio (also known as radar) altimeters “cannot be
relied upon to perform their intended function if they experience interference
from wireless broadband operations in the 5G C-band.” 

The likelihood and severity of radio frequency interference
increases for operations at lower altitudes, according to the group, and radio
altimeters as a result could become inoperable or present misleading
information, posing risk for “all types of civil aircraft.”

The directive “requires revising the limitations
section of the existing airplane/aircraft flight manual to incorporate [a] limitation
prohibiting certain operations requiring radio altimeter data when in the
presence of 5G C-band interference.” The A4A petition states those operations
are required to safely land aircraft. 

The emergency petition comes even after cellular trade
industry group CTIA, the Aerospace Industries Association and Airlines for
America issued a joint statement on Dec. 22 saying they were “pleased that
after productive discussions we will be working together to share the available
data from all parties to identify the specific areas of concern for aviation.
The best technical experts from across both industries will be working
collectively to identify a path forward, in coordination with the FAA and
[Federal Communications Commission]. Our belief is that by working
collaboratively in good faith on a data-driven solution, we can achieve our
shared goal of deploying 5G while preserving aviation safety.”

The new petition challenges the FCC to produce a
“reasoned analysis of why it has rejected the evidence submitted by the aviation
interests,” which it has not done, despite numerous communications to the agency
regarding the issue, according to petitioners. 

Wireless carriers postponed service initiation from Dec. 5,
2021 to Jan. 5, 2022 and adopted precautions to mitigate interference with aircraft.
The aviation industry believes they are insufficient. 

The CEOs of Boeing and Airbus Americas sent a joint letter
to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Dec. 20 requesting a delay
and warning that the services could affect aviation safety, Reuters
reported
. They cited an A4A study that estimated 345,000 passenger flights
and 5,400 cargo flights would have faced delays or cancellation in 2019 if the planned
5G wireless services had been active at that time. 

Major U.S. carriers also have warned that 5G wireless
services could disrupt thousands of daily flights and cost air passengers $1.6
billion annually in delays, with United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby saying it
could “delay, divert or cancel about 4 percent of daily flights,” according
to another Reuters report
.

The cellular services industry rejected the potential for this
disruption, citing 5G rollouts in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand
and other countries that already use the C-Band and transmit in the same range
the U.S. cellular industry will use. 

“The aviation industry’s fearmongering relies on completely
discredited information and deliberate distortions of fact,” CTIA told FlightGlobal
in a Dec. 15 statement. “We will launch this service in January with the
most-extensive set of protective measures in the world.”



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Omicron variant: What to do for travelers stranded at airports overseas


Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue — a company that provides medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services — said travelers who get stuck at an airport because of a border closing should immediately contact their embassy, provide their information and register their whereabouts. The next step, he said, would be to book a place to stay and then start the process of finding new flights if possible.



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Travel Woes Worsen, Around 175 Flights Canceled At JFK, LaGuardia, Newark Airports Sunday – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Sunday was another busy day at area airports, where thousands of travelers came and went this holiday weekend.

As CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported, many passengers were greeted again with delays and cancellations.

READ MORE: Experts Tell CBS2 Though Omicron Variant Appears Less Severe, Now Is Not The Time To Be Complacent

The monitoring website FlightAware has been tracking the numbers. At least 68 flights were canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport. John F. Kennedy International Airport had 73 cancellations, and there was another 33 flights called off at LaGuardia Airport.

Airlines have been struggling to handle the increase in air traffic, coupled with the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.

COVID VACCINE

Passengers said they felt the pressure of traveling during yet another wave of coronavirus cases.

One man and his girlfriend flew in from Phoenix. They were planning to go to JFK, but their flight was delayed in Salt Lake City.

“It is really, really stressful,” Christian Klein said. “We actually lucked out. We walked by this flight and said, ‘Hey, can we hop on?’ And we ended up here in Newark.”

Their travels started nearly a day ago, and it wasn’t ending in Newark. They said they were to take a car to see family in Connecticut.

READ MORE: Desmond Tutu, Nobel Laureate And Anti-Apartheid Leader, Dies At Age 90

Swani Schobert and her son from Stratford, Connecticut said they were planning to navigate their way to Germany.

“You definitely have to look for more things, do you need tests, do you need to be vaccinated, both or nothing. If you stop in another country, then the destination, what are there rules? It’s very confusing, but we managed,” Schobert said.

Nationally, United and Delta cancelled hundreds of flights over the holiday weekend. The airlines have been short staffed with COVID cases on the rise. They’ve offered employees all sorts of incentives to pick up extra shifts, on what’s one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Back at Newark Liberty, looking at the arrivals and departures, if flights weren’t cancelled, there’s a chance they were delayed.

Antoinette Randolph and her family said, despite the issues, there was still a willingness to fly.

“We still gotta do it. We still can’t just live our life in a nutshell. We all gotta work together to stay safe,” Randolph said.

One thing travelers said is that they have felt safe with all the added precautions in place. That said, it will take time before we see things improve in terms of delays and cancellations, as more people either continue to try and see family during the holidays, or try to get back for work.

MORE NEWS: NYPD Hunting For Suspect In Slashing Of Woman In Bronx

CBS2’s Kevin Rincon contributed to this report.



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Christmas UK travel news live: Train strikes and staff sickness creates chaos for airports and rail services


Festive travellers are facing disruption to Christmas getaway plans as a combination of industrial action and Omicron staff sickness has led to air and rail delays.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said a strike by its members who are train managers and senior conductors at CrossCountry is being “solidly supported in all depots”.

The action means CrossCountry, which runs trains from Scotland and northern England via the Midlands to South Wales and southern England, is running a heavily reduced service on Christmas Eve.

The cancellation of train services by operators across Britain due to pandemic-related staff shortages also continues, with LNER, CrossCountry, Avanti West Coast, Northern, ScotRail, Southern, Thameslink and TransPennine Express among those affected.

Meanwhile, Network Rail is preparing to begin 370 engineering projects on the railways, which will also disrupt services.

Heathrow Airport will be cut off from the rail and Tube network on Christmas Day and Boxing Day due to Network Rail and Transport for London doing simultaneous work.

1640352634

Millions embark on last-minute Christmas getaway

Millions of people are embarking on a last-gasp getaway to spend Christmas with friends and relatives.

The AA estimated there would be 17.8 million cars on UK roads today, as drivers making Christmas Eve leisure journeys and trips to buy presents compete for road space with commuters.

The worst queues were expected to take place in Wiltshire on the A303 between West Solstice Park and the A36, according to the RAC and traffic information supplier Inrix.

National Highways reported “severe” congestion on the M6 between Junctions 5 and 6 near Birmingham at 11.30am.

Chiara Giordano24 December 2021 13:30

1640351465

Why does travel always go wrong at Christmas?

You may find yourself wondering why travel always seems to go wrong at Christmas.

But is that actually the case? Our travel correspondent Simon Calder has taken a closer look in this piece:

Chiara Giordano24 December 2021 13:11

1640350799

Train strike, Omicron and flight cancellations affect Brits’ festive plans

Festive travellers are facing disruption to Christmas getaway caused by a combination of industrial action and Omicron staff sickness.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said a strike by its members who are train managers and senior conductors at CrossCountry is being “solidly supported in all depots”.

The action means CrossCountry, which runs trains from Scotland and northern England via the Midlands to South Wales and southern England, is running a heavily reduced service on Christmas Eve.

Hundreds of other trains are cancelled across Great Britain because so many rail staff are isolating because of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Our travel correspondent Simon Calder has more details here:

Chiara Giordano24 December 2021 12:59

1640350713

Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of the cancellations and delays facing those attempting to travel home for Christmas.

We’ll guide you through the latest travel news and updates throughout today.

Chiara Giordano24 December 2021 12:58



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Holiday Travel In Full Swing At Area Airports Despite Omicron Surge – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Despite concerns over the Omicron surge, the Christmas travel rush is underway.

Experts are predicting it will be back to pre-pandemic levels, or greater, but at least one major factor may slow some things down.

READ MORE: NYC Hands Out COVID Test Kits As New Yorkers Scramble For Holiday Safety

As CBS2’s John Dias reports, it has been busier than Santa’s workshop at LaGuardia Airport this week.

“Heading to home now, it’s crazy,” said traveler Zach Almond.

Web Extra: Tri-State Guide To Traffic & Transit

“Little bit inconvenient that an hour before flight, you have to wait in this line,” said traveler Emily Victores.

Many are traveling to see loved ones after an isolated holiday season last year due to the COVID pandemic.

“I feel like I want to live my life again and take precautions,” said traveler Lynn Bell.

Despite the recent surge in COVID cases, fueled mostly by the Omicron variant, AAA says more than 110 million Americans will travel over the holidays.

Locally, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey estimates 10 million vehicles will use its bridges and tunnels, which is similar to the pre-pandemic period in 2019.

Air Travel Links

Nearly five million air passengers are expected to utilize airports, an increase of nearly 84% compared to 2019.

While not many are canceling domestic flights, the Omicron variant is impacting international trips.

READ MORE: NYPD School Safety Agent Killed In Triple Shooting Outside Queens Bar, Sources Say

“But that doesn’t mean they’re going to not travel. In fact, they’re rebooking on plan B or plan C of their destination in this country,” said CBS News Senior Travel Advisor Peter Greenberg.

Greenberg also says staffing issues will likely cause significant delays.

“Still a problem at airports, airlines, hotels, restaurants, anywhere you need to go. They’re not going to fix those staffing problems until March or April next year at the earliest,” Greenberg said.

Domestic travel doesn’t require a COVID test, but one father says he’s testing his fully vaccinated teenage daughter the second she gets off her plane at JFK Airport for a visit.

“Her mom said she was feeling sick, so when she lands, I want to get her tested and before she goes back. I’ll get her tested, just in case,” said Jamaica resident Raheem Bertrand.

This comes as Delta Air Lines is pleading for help to adjust COVID rules. In a letter, it asked the CDC to “reconsider the current guideline for 10 days of isolation in fully vaccinated” people who experience breakthrough COVID-19 infections, and making it a “five day isolation from symptom onset.”

Health officials are now analyzing the risks.

With travel policies constantly changing, and drastically different depending on where you’re traveling to, travel experts say don’t rely on the Internet, give a travel agent or a travel advisor a call, who can walk you through the latest..

It’s expected most who will be traveling by car this holiday season will be driving at least 50 miles.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says it will suspend non-emergency construction at vehicle crossings to accommodate traffic volume.

MORE NEWS: Several Popular Brands Of Packaged Salads Recalled Over Listeria Outbreaks

 



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North Texas airports brace for holiday travel


Dallas Love Field Airport is seeing 95% of the traveler traffic they had during the holiday season two years ago in 2019, according to Chris Perry, the airport’s communication manager. Dallas-Fort Worth Airport is anticipating similar travel rates.

Perry said the airport is doing its part by taking precautions to sanitize and prevent the spread of viruses.

“Enhanced cleaning of those high-touch areas, ensuring that you know everything looks good that once someone if you sit down and eat at the concessions village that that table is cleaned immediately once you’re done,” Perry said.

High peak travel occurs two days before and two days after Christmas, so he advises getting to the airport 90 minutes before boarding in order to make sure travelers can make it through security and to their gate as comfortably as possible.

AAA predicted a heavy increase in holiday travel to levels not seen in 2020, with the emergence of a COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots.

“Americans who canceled their vacations in 2020 want to gather with family and friends for the holidays this year, although they will still be mindful of the pandemic and the new omicron variant,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel in a news release. “With vaccines widely available, conditions are much different and many people feel a greater level of comfort with travel.”

Airlines are reiterating that travel demand is “very strong”.

“We know there is tremendous pent-up demand for air travel,” said American Airlines representative Matt Miller.

“Domestically, demand is very strong and has been for a while now. We have seen strong demand over the holidays,” Miller added. “Internationally, when travel restrictions and requirements are put into place – quarantines, new testing rules, etc. – it has a dampening effect on demand and we have seen that in some places.”

Airlines and the regional airports remind passengers that the federal mask mandate is still in place, which means travelers must wear a mask while in the airport and aboard the airplane.

Got a tip? Email Haya Panjwani at [email protected] Follow Haya on Twitter @hayapanjw





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Airports brace for busy travel days ahead of holidays – Action News Jax


Jacksonville, FL — Santa isn’t the only one hitting the skies soon for a Christmas trip around the world!

TSA agents are getting ready to screen thousands of flyers here locally, and upwards of 30 million across the country between this week and January 3.

Millions of travelers are flying to their holiday destination, including at Jacksonville International Airport.

TSA expects Wednesday and Thursday will be the busiest dates to travel before the holidays.

President Joe Biden says vaccinated travelers don’t have to cancel their plans.

[RELATED: Coronavirus: Biden lays out plan to curb omicron surge, focuses on vaccinations]

“Since I’m vaccinated, it kind of gives you peace of mind,” traveler Nick Muruako said.

For further peace of mind, experts recommend rapid tests before a family gathering.

“They could add another layer of protection, or security if they all got a rapid test that morning,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The biggest takeaway from travelers and experts alike: give yourself some time.

“Thank God we got here, just an hour or so early,” traveler Chris Ferguson said.

The thought of reuniting with loved ones also helped travelers ease some of that holiday anxiety.

“If ultimately you’re trying to go and see family, you make time to do that no matter the circumstances,” said Ferguson.

You can find more TSA travel tips for the holidays here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips.





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