Navigating holiday travel with delay, variation omicron



People were arriving at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) when staff warned it would only get busier after the weekend.

When you see the lounge access lanes at RSW, you know the holiday travel season is upon us. And it was only a matter of time before those lanes were filled with people.

The airport is expected to see a record number of passengers between now and the beginning of the new year. Visitors say they’re glad they beat the crowds because the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has just begun.

People are looking forward to seeing loved ones or, like Sandi Hamann, welcoming loved ones home with a little Christmas cheer.

“I’m so happy, so happy they’re here, and looking forward to them coming home for Christmas, and so I just think it’s fun and happy and fun!” Hamann said.

However, there are still worries about the new omicron variant appearing in the middle of the holiday season.

Samantha Hamann, who just arrived from Boston, said: ‘We did the test and you know to be careful with the mask and try to stay away from people.

Michele Vogel is flying from RSW to Charlotte. “I have my vaccines, boosters and all my shots. And I’m praying that everyone complies, it’s just a scary time,” Vogel said.

These are tough times for Dan and Renee Reymond. They are afraid of getting sick but more afraid of being kicked out of the country in 10 days they will go home to Canada. “We’re going to be monitoring it, and if there’s any sign that the border or something is closing, we’ll be right back,” Dan said.

While the omicron variant is spreading rapidly elsewhere, Sandi Hamann hopes that won’t stop people from reuniting with their loved ones. “I hope that all the families can get together because, you know, this is especially special during the holidays,” she said.

Parking at the airport will soon become an issue as well. So be sure to check the airport’s website and social media pages for availability updates. The best advice the airport says is to find a ride, instead of driving yourself.

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Aila Slisco

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