airline industry

Air Travel Rises Sharply, Doctors Advise Caution

TSA reported an 800% increase in travelers passing through airport checkpoints last weekend than the corresponding weekend in 2020

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More than a year into the pandemic, travel is increasingly on the minds and in the plans of people in North Texas and across the country.

Last weekend the Transportation Security Administration saw an 800% increase in the number of people who passed through checkpoints in airports in the United States than they did the same weekend last year.

Two of those days, Friday and Easter Sunday, each topped 1.5 million people passing through airport checkpoints, according to the TSA, which were each record-setting individual days since the start of the pandemic.

Public health officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still stress that air travel is discouraged unless someone has already completed their vaccination process.

Dr. Ken Redcross, an internal medicine physician practicing in Dallas-Fort Worth, said that his patients are increasingly asking him about how to travel safely.

“So, we have a lot of good discussions around this [but] it all kind of starts with the vaccine,” Redcross said. “I know some people have different views, and I get it, but it's just important that you have that relationship with your doctor to be able to have that kind of ‘Coming to Jesus’ moment and really say ‘What's good for me?’ That's important.”

Redcross stressed that a road trip is still a better bet than air travel at this point in the pandemic in terms of personal safety and responsibility. He also added that people who do plan to fly should consider double-masking, keeping a thermometer with them, as well as a routine regiment of supplements, including Vitamin D, to help boost their immune system.

Kyle Arnold with The Dallas Morning News joins NBC 5 to provide his insight into how the U.S. airline industry is preparing for a busy travel season following a year of the pandemic.
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