Holiday travel

Holiday Travel Rush in Full Swing at Boston's Logan Airport

Monday is the deadline for federal workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which includes TSA workers

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Security lines and bag checks at Boston's Logan Airport continued to grow Monday morning -- one of the worst travel days anticipated ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Holiday travel this year is expected to rebound to almost pre-pandemic levels. According to AAA, 6.4 million more people are traveling this year for Thanksgiving -- a 13% increase from 2020. Air travel is expected to increase by 80%.

Nearly two weeks ago, the U.S. border opened up to fully vaccinated international travelers. Meanwhile, the airline industry has been struggling to keep up due to labor shortages.

Both Delta and United Airlines are projecting the Sunday after Thanksgiving could be their busiest day since before the pandemic. But the huge increase in travelers expected for the Thanksgiving holiday is not the only travel concern this week.

The coming wave of holiday passengers is the first big stress test for airlines since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Monday is the deadline for federal workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which includes Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees.

But the union representing airport security said it has just completed a hiring surge and they don’t anticipate disruptions. Federal guidelines allow for gradual measures to ensure compliance – so mass firings aren't expected this week.

Travelers at Logan Airport Monday morning said that they hoped being there early would help their trips go smoothly.

“It’s definitely piling up so I’m just hoping we’ll be fine and make it to the gate," Lana Farah said as she was traveling home.

The number of air travelers for Thanksgiving are expected to hit pre-pandemic levels.

“There was a thing on Delta saying that you should allow three hours and we did, so I guess – I didn’t know the reason for it -- but it guess it was because of TSA agents," said Marie Birdsall, who was flying to see family.

Massport recommended that domestic travelers arrive at the airport two hours early and international travelers arrive at least three hours before their flight.

Two storms anticipated in the northeast -- one that arrived Monday -- are expected to delay some travel in Boston as well.

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