Despite record low travel because of the pandemic in 2020, people are once again taking to the sky.

According to the TSA, almost 1.3 million people passed through airport security checkpoints Thursday; that’s the highest level since January 3rd.

It’s typical for air travel to pick up in March as students across the country go on spring break. Analysts also believe more people may feel comfortable flying as they get vaccinated for COVID-19.

Travel agencies in Acadiana are already seeing an increase in air travel.

Associated Travel director Robbie Bush says despite a rough year for the travel industry because of the pandemic, business is starting to pick back up.

“The question was, ‘Do you feel comfortable traveling?’ For some they did.”

With many states loosening travel restrictions, vaccines becoming more available, and warmer weather, travelers are taking advantage.

“We are seeing more people interested in traveling in the US. Certainly Lafayette and Louisiana as a state have done a really great job of offering destinations for people to drive in from other states or to stay within.”

According to air traffic statistics collected by Lafayette Regional Airport, almost 10,000 people traveled in January, making it the highest traveled month since the pandemic.

Bush says flying isn’t the only form of transportation travelers are using.

“We’ve also seen some interest in a few things that are different, driving to a location 10 hours away 12 hours away for a certain length of time. We’re also seeing an interesting push in the business where the tour companies are offering smaller groups on the regular transportation. The idea of not being packed into a bus or packed onto most flights is very appealing to people.”

Although Bush says they’ve regained about 30% of their clients since the start of the pandemic, he expects those numbers to increase as more resources are available to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I think we’ll see that speed up based on the availability of vaccinations, as well as the other softwares and advantages in traveling that we see.”

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