SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Memorial Day is known as being one of the biggest travel weekends in the country. But the impact of the global pandemic can be seen at Shreveport Regional Airport.
The travel lines are nearly vacant around the airport which is a stark contrast to the usual Memorial Day weekend. Airport officials said passenger numbers are down 80-percent compared to last year. However that’s better than last month which saw a 92-percent decrease.
“We launched non-stop service to Destin, Florida today with Allegiant Airlines so we’re very excited about that on this Memorial Day weekend. That’s certainly help increase the number of passengers coming in and out of the airport. We have seen a decline in passengers over the past few months as every airport has,” said Mark Crawford, Shreveport Regional Airport spokesperson.
Crawford said the airport has continued an intense cleaning schedule and is asking patrons to socially distance outside the TSA line. It’s up to each individual airline to administer their own social distancing guidelines.
“Some of the airlines have chosen to use social distancing items. Delta Airlines has increased plexiglass screens at their check out counters. Some of the airlines are limiting the number of people who can sit in their gate space. All the passengers we see coming in and out of the airport seem to be following those social distancing guidelines,” Crawford said.
Airlines are requiring passengers to wear a mask while on the plane. Masks are not required inside the airport, but encouraged.
“I just really hope there’s a lot of space on the plane. I don’t want to be too close to anybody. I’m definitely going to wipe down my seat before I sit down and take all the precautions I can,” said Brianna Mallet.
Families will oftentimes wait inside to see their loved ones off. Many were seen just dropping them off outside instead.