The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is known as one of the busiest travel days of the year and even with COVID-19 restrictions across the country, travel experts say they still expect that to be true.
An estimated 50 million people are expected to travel nationwide this year for thanksgiving, although the CDC warns that it could be dangerous due to COVID-19 concerns.
Tulsa International Airport spokesperson Andrew Pierini estimates almost 16,000 people will come through the airport, however that number is less than half of the amount that normally flies out this time of year.
“We are doing everything we can at Tulsa International Airport to make sure our passengers are safe and the airport is clean when they come to travel. Along with our airline partners, we are ensuring the travel experience is as safe as possible," said Pierini.
On Wednesday, the Tulsa International Airport has almost 30 flights heading out and about the same amount through the weekend, which are peak travel days.
According to University of Oklahoma Chief COVID-19 Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler, if people chose to fly this week, it is recommended that they keep their masks on at all times, not only because they are mandatory, but to protect both themselves and others.
"Airplanes are relatively safe as long as everyone is wearing a mask," said Dr. Bratzler. "But it's when you take your mask off to have drinks and fluid or water or pretzels, whatever that's when you increase your chance of breathing in droplets that come out of someone else's mouth."
Officials recommend that people gearing up for travel arrive to airports early and well prepared as the lines for check-in and security pile up quickly.