Holiday travel in Arkansas seeing unusual numbers during pandemic

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Holiday travel during a pandemic comes with its own set of hurdles.

At the Clinton National Airport, they’re not seeing numbers they’re used to.

And some families have to jump through hoops to get where they’re going.

The airport said when Covid-19 first hit, flights only had about five people on them. Now, each plane averages about 70 passengers. Still, they’re nowhere where they used to be this time last year.

And for those who are traveling, there’s a lot more to take into account before buying that ticket.

The Hunter family from Cabot is ready to get out of dodge. They’re headed to a “Friends-giving” in Phoenix.

The only hiccup on their trip so far is no coffee at the airport.

“It’s kind of inconvenient that nothing is open to get something to drink or stuff like that, so we brought stuff with us,” Matthew Hunter said.

And the Hunter family will have to wear their masks on their 3-hour flight to Arizona.

“The mask on the whole time, that’s probably going to be pretty uncomfortable,” Hunter said.

But the airport said for other travelers headed to states like Massachusetts and Hawaii, more safety measures are in place.

“You’re seeing specific states have mandates in place where you may have to produce a negative Covid-19 test before you can enter,” said Shane Carter, spokesperson for the Clinton National Airport.

“We were watching that and I heard about, especially New York, and some of these other places,” Hunter said. “I was hoping Arizona wouldn’t go that route or else it might have ruined the whole deal.”

Some states also requiring travelers to quarantine when they get there.

“We don’t have time for that,” Hunter said. “That would be completely inconvenient.”

The airport said during this time of year, they usually have about 4,000 to 5,000 passengers flying out.

Now, that number stands at around just 1,700.

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