TEXAS (Nexstar) — The COVID-19 situation in Texas just keeps getting better.
The latest state data shows hospitalizations nearing their lowest levels since the beginning of the pandemic. With the worst of COVID-19 seemingly behind us, airports are busier.
“This is chaotic,” said Charlotte Newman, a traveler. “And a little bit nerve wracking.”
Newman feels that airports are busier now than they were pre-pandemic. 2021 travel Texas data shows that toward the end of last year, 9 in 10 people had leisure travel plans, and nearly 80 percent were planning trips within the next few months.
“We’re hoping, hoping that we are on the other side of this pandemic, and that we can all start enjoying life like we used to,” said Brenda Rubio, another traveler.
There are currently fewer than 1,000 new COVID hospital patients statewide, the lowest point in nearly two years.
Megan Lundquist, travel agent and owner of ‘Legit Trips‘, said that she noticed more people taking trips now than any other time in her six years in the industry.
“I probably book 20 honeymoons a week and I probably used to book one a week,” Lundquist said. “In the last two months I have booked more trips, totaling more income than I’ve made in my entire career.”
While airports like Austin-Bergstrom International (ABIA) continue to manage thousands of travelers daily, Texas travel data suggests passengers are more optimistic about the days ahead.
“People are tired of staying at home,” Newman said. “So it doesn’t surprise me that they’re traveling.”
Although many people have begun feeling pretty normal about everyday life again, there is still a shortage of TSA workers at ABIA. A TSA representative told KXAN that the federal hiring process takes time, and that they will have agents coming in from elsewhere to pick up the slack.
Airports recommend travelers arrive at the airport early, because you never know how long it will take to get through security and to your gate.