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Air travel through Anchorage expected to be near pre-pandemic levels with Thanksgiving approaching

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 8:15 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -Two hundred seventy one Transportation Security Administration employees around the country are recovering at home from COVID-19. One of them is a screener at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

The unidentified worker has been off the job since Nov. 10. The administration posted the information in a Nov. 12 update on its website, but did not say if the employee is vaccinated against the virus.

The head of the TSA, David P. Pekoske, announced in October that 40% of the agency’s workers remained unvaccinated.

They, and all federal civilian employees, have until Nov. 22 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If they don’t, they could be out of a job.

The date also falls during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year — Thanksgiving. AAA predicts 4.2 million people will fly over the holiday, an 80% increase compared to the same time last year.

Security lines at airports are already long during the holiday, but there are concerns passengers could wait even longer if there are fewer screeners.

One person not worried about the long lines is Joe Fejes of Houston, Texas. He has no plans to fly over the holiday.

<1:01:26> “That’s part of the motivation For taking out vacation time prior to Thanksgiving,” said Fejes as he waited for a flight home after a visit with family in Homer. “Not quite as much traffic and confusion.”

Overall, AAA estimates nearly 53.4 million people will travel by air or car this Thanksgiving, a 13% increase from 2020, close to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

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