Packing patience: Traffic light so far at McCarran as busy holiday travel week begins

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s been a busy day at McCarran International Airport, with lots of families traveling together this year.

They’re arriving early, packing their patience and traveling light.

People are excited to fly this Thanksgiving holiday.

McCarran spokesperson Joe Rajchel said 2019 was a busy Thanksgiving — one of the busiest on record nationwide.

Rajchel doesn’t expect 2021 to be quite to that level, but the COVID-19 vaccine has made more people comfortable with getting on airplanes.

“This is going to be the first holiday in a while that maybe someone has traveled,” he said. “They may not have traveled since the pandemic broke out. Nationwide we’re expecting it to be a big travel week.”

Nicole Steinert is traveling from Northern California with her entire family.

“We planned ahead and we left at a time that wasn’t super crowded,” she said. “The flight was fully booked. All seats were taken.”

“I’m excited to see my family,” said Maddox Steiner.

Danica Steiner chimed in: “I’m excited to sit on my grandparents’ couch.”

“We’re OK. We’re vaccinated, so we are not too nervous about it,” Steiner said. “I’m actually appreciative of masks during this time. This is the one time I don’t mind wearing a mask traveling.”

Everyone was calm and followed the rules.

Uma Coleman, who is visiting from Michigan to celebrate her sister’s 60th birthday, said she was a bit worried about traveling.

Her concern: “People that are not vaccinated or who don’t want to wear their masks,” she said. “But everybody seemed to be complying.”

Ane although the airport won’t be as busy as before the pandemic, airport officials are urging people to think ahead when it comes to parking.

“We’re telling people if you’re planning to park here at the airport, give yourself an extra 60 to 90 minutes to account for parking and taking the shuttle transportation over to the terminal,” Rajchel said.

Some travel tips this year:

  • Plan to arrive early, no matter when your flight is.
  • Expect weather delays.
  • Be aware of the latest advisories and mask mandates, testing requirements and quarantine orders.
  • Give yourself an additional 60 to 90 minutes for parking. For the past several months, parking at Terminal 1 has been filling up every weekend, and that’s expected to continue this week.

Today at the airport, people weren’t having any problems with flights.

People are complying with mask rules and travel has been light so far. There hasn’t been much activity in the baggage claim areas.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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