CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Although a significantly lesser amount than last year, numerous people are still traveling this Thanksgiving, disregarding suggestions made by the CDC to stay at home this November. That’s also the case in Corpus Christi.
“In terms of looking back to this time last year, we’ve got a little over half of our traffic has come back,” said Kim Bridger-Hunt, marketing manager for the Corpus Christi International Airport. “Which, actually, is a lot higher than you see at other airports, even in Texas and certainly across the country.”
The stories of travelers leaving the Coastal Bend varied, but they all agreed that abiding by mask mandates and social distancing guidelines made them feel more secure. Those precautions are a challenge at times, especially for full-fledged families.
“That’s going to be the hardest part — keeping a mask on him,” said father Sam Bernal as his wife tried to cover up their 2-year-old son with as mask after he playfully removed it off during an interview inside the airport. “We’ve canceled, how many vacations? Three vacations we’ve canceled this year. We just thought it’d be a welcome change, I had the opportunity here a few weeks ago to travel out of the country and actually, it seems like a really good time to travel.”
Another aspect that makes flyers feel more at ease is that the plane final destination is a smaller, less populated plane. “We keep to ourselves,” said Carol Kennedy, who was on her way back to Tulsa, OK after visiting Port Aransas with her daughter. “And at least we’re flying on a small plane, so we’re are the terminals that are kind of out of the way.”
CCIA flies into the DFW International Airport and the Hobby Airport in Houston. Bridger-Hunt said while there are many who are not yet ready to return to the airport, there are many who are. “We’re certainly not in the business of trying to encourage people to travel — that is not what we at the airport are trying to do,” she said.
“What we want people to know, is if they have a need or a desire to fly somewhere — they can come through this airport — come through this terminal and feel very secure about the environment that they’re walking around in.”