Travel agents are seeing a surge of residents booking flights after the recent vaccination efforts, where the TSA has screened more than one million people per day for the last week, much more than any other time in the last year.
A couple from Mill Valley, Alan and Naomi Spiegelman, said the situation was a chance for them to escape. “It was so nice to just be able to get away after spent a year in our home,” Alan said. The two are currently enjoying their time in Hawaii after getting inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’ve been playing golf and going to the pool. Just being outside and in a different environment,” said Alan. However, the couple said that traveling was still somewhat difficult due to restrictions across the region.
The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging residents to avoid non-essential travel. Despite warnings, more and more people are making plans to make trips. San Francisco travel consultant Christina Turrini said many of her clients are preferring to go to Hawaii, Mexico, and Tahiti.
“We’re getting a lot of people calling saying, ‘I’ve been vaccinated, I want to go, I’m ready.’ I’ve never seen it in the past 12 months be so generous in terms of cancellations, waivers, and changes,” Turrini said, NBC Bay Area reported.
Compared to two years ago, U.S. airline passenger levels are down 57%, causing people to come in bigger groups due to fewer flights. On Wednesday at Mineta San Jose International Airport, many frequent travelers noticed the difference. “I’d encourage people to try and get out now,” said Alan.