Travelers kicking off first big holiday weekend since relaxed COVID restrictions


CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s the start of the Memorial Day holiday and the TSA said travelers should be ready for a busy weekend.

People at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport are kicking off the first big three day weekend since a lot of national and state COVID restrictions have been relaxed.

Buffalo isn’t seeing quite the surge as the national trend right now, but an NFTA spokesperson notes there are definitely more people coming through TSA checkpoints.

She says the U.S.-Canadian border reopening is a critical component of this region getting back to its typical travel numbers. But in general, things look promising.

This time last year, the TSA reported only around 320,000 people traveling daily.

Today, that number is up to 1.8 million, so more than 1.5 million more people traveling now than the same time in 2020.

“It’s good for everybody. To get the country back, to get the economy back, to get travel back, so this affects everybody. The airport workers to the travelers to the TSA working our screening areas. This is a great indication that the country is coming back, and the economy is going to come back even stronger,” TSA Public Affairs Officer Sonny Lorrius said.

Because of the uptick in travelers, the TSA like so many industries is hiring. They need officers all across New York in Buffalo, Syracuse, and Albany, and they have a signing bonus too.

You have to wear a mask. Your vaccination status or your state’s rules don’t matter, masks are still required for all public transportation, and that means in the airport and on a plane.

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