In fact, with about 1.3 million people departing on flights from Rochester in 2019, it was a record year for the airport. Now, Rochester’s airport – like others across the country – is down by about 63% in flights, and about 70% in passengers. 

“If you compare August of 2020 to August of 2019, we’re down about 62,000 passengers in one month alone,” says Moore. However, after an unusual spring and summer, the airport is slowly starting to see traveler numbers tick back up ahead of the holiday travel season. “We are starting to see those travelers come back little by little, both the business traveler and the leisure traveler, which is great,” says Moore. 

Notoriously one of the busiest holidays for travel, Thanksgiving is less than seven weeks away, and now is the time of year of when many people start making holiday travel plans. As we get closer to the holiday travel season, an increase in traveler traffic could be coming. 

If you’re planning on traveling this holiday season, your experience at the airport will likely be the same as it was pre-pandemic. However, some important differences include:

•    Fewer flight options (some airlines are limiting options due to less demand)

•    Good deals on airfare (again, due to a decrease in demand)

•    Touchless technology (some airlines have upgraded ticketing and check-in procedures)

As far as the rest of your holiday airport routine, Moore says that much of what you’d be used to hasn’t changed at all. It’s just that there’s fewer people. 

Also important to note: there are still 35 states and territories on New York State’s travel advisory list. Make sure to check that list, linked here, before buying any tickets. 


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