South Florida Airports Seeing Spike In Travelers

CBS4's Hank Tester explains what's behind the jump in air travelers. Read more: https://cbsloc.al/31VbF9W

Video Transcript

- New at 6:00, for those of us who are fully vaccinated, getting back to normal might include some air travel. CBS 4's Hank Tester takes a closer look at the surge in air travel and who is fueling it.

HANK TESTER: The Biden vaccine crusade paying off for the airline industry. In tourism-dependent South Florida, where 90% of tourists come through our airports, the news is encouraging.

SCOTT KEYES: About two weeks ago, for the first time since the pandemic began, 1 and 1/2 million Americans got on an airplane in a single day. And then it's happened five times since then.

HANK TESTER: At Miami International Airport over the past month, they are at 70% of the travelers they had pre-pandemic. According to AAA, which tracks all kinds of travel.

JESSICA BRADY: The level of optimism that has increased over the past couple of months is something we haven't seen in so long.

HANK TESTER: The AAA survey indicates 62% of Floridians will travel this year, 30% of them before June. 46% say they are comfortable traveling after vaccination. 42% indicate they are comfortable flying post-vaccination.

SCOTT KEYES: For a lot of Americans, it's travel right now. It's, you know, look, I've been vaccinated. I'm ready to go.

HANK TESTER: The CDC says if you've been fully vaccinated, you can travel without test or quarantine. Airlines have stressed safety with air filters and strict onboard protocols. And who's booking in big numbers? Senior citizens and baby boomers, who got vaccinations early on.

SCOTT KEYES: They started booking flights. They started booking travel. You can see the age group, really big differential, where for Gen X and millennials, flight booking staying fairly flat. But for senior citizens and baby boomers, it's just really taking off.

HANK TESTER: And just where are those baby boomers and senior citizens going? To the beaches and national parks out West. Fresh air, outside, that's what they're looking for. I'm Hank Tester, "CBS 4 News."