Despite warnings from health officials, travelers at GSP Airport plan to visit family for Thanksgiving

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GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Despite health experts at the CDC warning against Thanksgiving travel, airports are still seeing people check in for flights ahead of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

An innocent trip for those wanting to spend time with their loved ones could easily turn into a deadly expedition, either for an unsuspecting stranger or a family member.

Many people know the risks associated with traveling during a pandemic, but some made the decision not to heed the warning from health officials pleading with citizens not to travel. 

Lucas Larkin caught a flight from Indiana to Greenville, S.C. with his father, but he told 7 News that his family isn’t having a normal Thanksgiving gathering they’re switching up their tradition to keep family safe.

“We’re just visiting one person, we’re taking it down from about 20 to 30 people and bringing it down to just one. I wouldn’t really say we’re risking COVID, we’re actually quite dropping the risk,” Larkin said.

Despite warnings, Larkin said both he and his father tested negative for COVID-19 before flying, and felt traveling was safe.

“The experience was a lot different this year, but it felt a lot safer when it comes to contagions,” Larkin said.

Passengers, some traveling internationally into GSP, said they’ve seen large crowds at multiple airports during their layovers before reaching South Carolina.

“When the airport is international and in big cities like Atlanta, New York and Chicago you find a lot of people and crowds. Sometimes another person is really close to you but everybody is wearing masks,” Paulo Bravo, a holiday traveler, said.

According to TSA, 912,090 passengers nationwide crossed through TSA checkpoints on Tuesday. GSP officials said they’ve had about 2,000 people pass through GSP on Monday and Tuesday, which they said is less travelers compared to this time last year.

“It’s certainly not what we would expect on a usual Thanksgiving weekend, but those who are traveling are here and they’re able to do it safely,” Michelle Newman, communications manager at GSP International Airport, said.

Many passengers are carefully heeding the social distancing and face mask guidelines outlined by health officials and airport staff.

Experts predict that Sunday will be another peak travel day with flyers returning home from celebrating the holiday. 

For more information on CDC recommendations for the celebrating the holidays, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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