Delays, cancellations and COVID add to travelers’ hectic vacations
EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – The holidays are always a hectic time, add trips to this menu and even on the best days, residents are rushing. An El Pasoan who wanted to be home for the holidays talks about the challenges he faced on his trip to the Borderland.
According to officials at El Paso International Airport, passenger traffic has increased by nearly 80% this year compared to last year, as it is across the country. El Pasoan Matthew Hernandez has seen that rise – and all the facets that come with it this holiday season.
Hernandez’s first flight – from Houston to Phoenix – was delayed, resulting in a four-hour layover. He says the airport was so busy and overcrowded that people were seated in whatever space was available, waiting for their flights, leaving no room for newly arrived passengers.
With the delay, his travel time quickly multiplied, making the 8 hour drive from San Antonio to El Paso all the more appealing.
He adds that the reduction in desired flight times also leads him to consider this trip home.
“I chose the cheapest flight and the shortest flight, and it was still about a 6 hour flight while the journey itself is only 8 hours and you are trying to fly up to “Let you know limit the time you travel. and it seems like every time I go online the flights are more like there are fewer options for flights,” Hernandez says.
However, even with all the delays and doubts, he says flying is still a better option.
“Personally, I would suggest just flying because I think it’s the easiest way to do something,” Hernandez adds.
In addition to the peak travel period, COVID has taken its toll on some major carriers. The Associated Press reported that Delta and United together canceled more than 600 flights due to a staff shortage associated with the omicron variant.
As for trying to beat the traveling crowds, airport officials are encouraging travelers to arrive early, allowing time for parking, time at counters and security checkpoints.
Airport officials share that their rush hour is early in the morning, with more than a dozen flights departing El Paso between 5 and 9 a.m.
For more flight information, tips and other suggestions, visit the El Paso International Airport website by clicking here.