▶️ RDM sees uptick in passengers, but still down from previous years

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By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Flying around this time usually makes for a chaotic time at the airport.

This year will have fewer travelers, but flyers still need to be prepared and arrive early.

“I am just not afraid,” said Michigan resident Patt Delorme.

She is one of several passengers who traveled to Central Oregon for the holidays.

“I don’t get to see my family very often,” Delorme added.

Redmond Municipal Airport Director Zachary Bass says holiday travel is way down compared to previous.

“The four days prior to Thanksgiving last year saw twelve thousand passengers come through the airport,” Bass said. “We’re expecting about half of that this year, around six thousand.”

Air travel is expected to be less than usual, but still busy during these upcoming weeks.

“Historically the holiday season is our busiest season, a few weeks in November, a little bit before Christmas,” Bass said. “So we are expecting to see an uptick in passengers, but if we compare against what we’ve seen historically before the pandemic we are still going to be quite a bit down.”

Passengers gave us their thoughts after getting off their flights

“It felt safe, it was clean, it was good,” said Bryn Olivera, who is visiting from Texas.

“It was good,” added Lauren Kneadler, who is visiting from Phoenix. “My flight wasn’t full going there or back.”

Airports take several COVID-19 precautions.

“Redmond, just like almost all airports in the country, masks are required at the airport, also, on the aircraft and we just remind people to try to keep that six feet distance, wear a mask,” Bass said. “Overall, air travel has been pretty safe.”

Airlines like Alaska are blocking all middle seats, while United Airlines is having passengers leave the plane in groups of five rows to reduce crowding.

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