HOUSTON - The Coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the air-travel industry hard.
According to a spokesperson for Houston’s airports, travel this August was down 70 percent compared to August of 2019.
Travel itself is also different this year. Social distancing markers are noticeable throughout the airport, along with scattered seating placards and face masks requirements.
“The airports have never been this clean before,” said Augusto Bernal, a spokesperson for Houston airports. “We not only have the custodial services team cleaning all of those high frequencies touchpoints. We’re also using sprayers.”
Something else new in 2020, there’s a personal protective equipment (PPE) vending machine in the A terminal. There, people can buy their own masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer.
“I don’t feel scared or anything,” said traveler Yesiree Payano.
Beyond the security checkpoint, there’s an unusual silence. Many of the businesses and restaurants inside Bush Intercontinental Airport remain temporarily closed.
“There’s nobody here,” said Payano. “I was just thinking; this would be the perfect time to travel.”
“We don’t travel a lot, but it’s definitely different,” said traveler Josh Tefft. “It’s still fine. Nothing to be nervous about. The scariest thing is still getting on the plane and taking off.”
According to Bernal, they’re starting to see passenger numbers rebound compared to earlier in 2020 as people start to feel more comfortable with flying during the pandemic.