South Georgians begin traveling for the holidays, Valdosta Airport sees increase in passengers

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Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 5:49 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) -A busy Thanksgiving travel weekend has begun, almost at full pre-pandemic force.

It’s estimated that more people will be traveling this year for the holidays than last year.

South Georgia is already seeing many on the move, either catching flights to hitting the road.

On Wednesday, many are already lined up at Valdosta Regional Airport to check-in and fly out.

For Taurean Newton, his final destination is Baltimore.

He says he’s prepared to rush to his connecting flight in Atlanta.

“I’m traveling this year for Thanksgiving, not last year, as you see it’s kinda hectic.. kinda crazy..gotta get there on time I’m going to have to move ahead of time,” said Newton.

Airport manager, Jim Galloway, says leisure travel has started to pick up after the pandemic has wined down.

Passengers at Valdosta Airport ready for holiday travel.
Passengers at Valdosta Airport ready for holiday travel.(WALB)
Passengers at Valdosta Airport ready for holiday travel.
Passengers at Valdosta Airport ready for holiday travel.(WALB)

They have a 33% increase in travelers this week compared to a year ago.

Galloway says those coming by need to be patient and wear their masks.

“A mask that covers both your nose and mouth at all times, from the time you walk into the terminal to the time you walk out the terminal on the other side. There have been certain instances people have not shown their good side with regards to wearing a mask,” said Galloway.

Galloway says holiday flight schedules have been adjusted, with only two arrivals and departures on Thanksgiving Day and Friday.

Back to normal schedule on Saturday.

He says flights are mostly full, expecting about 100 to 150 passengers per day passing through.

For those taking the alternate route and prefer driving to your holiday destination, Chief Leslie Manahan with the Valdosta Police Department shares some tips.

“With holiday travels, we just ask everybody to check your vehicles, check the fluid in your vehicles, your tires, your blinkers, and headlights. Check everything you can before you get on the road and travel. We want everyone to travel safely. Make sure you are using your seat belts and buckled up,” said Chief Manahan.

Georgia State Patrol will be out in full force for the holiday travel period, starting today at 6 p.m. until Sunday.

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