As traffic picks up nationwide ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, San Jose’s airport is running without hiccups.
A spokesperson for Mineta San Jose International Airport said they’re expecting more than 280,000 passengers between June 30 and July 8. That’s a 20% increase compared to the 232,000 passengers during the same week last year. The busiest days are expected to be June 30, July 1, and July 8.
But Friday morning was calm, with only 1 outbound cancellation and no significant delays.
“While we expect flight operations at SJC to be smooth for the remainder of the holiday, disruptions are always a possibility,” SJC spokesperson Kayla Renelle told San José Spotlight. “And with what’s being reported regarding travel all around the world right now we highly recommend travelers pack extra patience this summer.”
Independence Day weekend poses a major test for the airline industry, which is facing a pilot shortage, high fuel prices, tumbling stocks, impatient customers, and a rash of delays and cancellations.
According to FlightAware, U.S. airlines already canceled more than 2,720 flights across the U.S. since Monday.
As for traveling tips?
San Jose airport officials suggests travelers check with their airline directly before heading to the airport for the latest updates to their itinerary. Lines may be longer than they’ve been in the past, especially as more people are coming back to air travel. It’s also recommended that travelers arrive two hours early for domestic flights, and three hours early for international flights.
San Jose native Carla Ahmad and her two sons, Colin, 4, and Connor, 6, arrived early to SJC Friday afternoon to catch a flight to San Diego. The family hoped to spend the long weekend at the beach.
“It’s Colin’s first time flying, and Connor hasn’t gone on an airplane since the pandemic,” Ahmad told San José Spotlight. “I’m very nervous about flying solo with my kids but I’m trying to not think about it too much.”
The family is vaccinated against COVID-19, but they decided to keep their masks on for this trip.
“I’m excited to see all the clouds,” Colin said.
Rafael Lopez, an educator in San Jose, is also looking forward to traveling again this holiday. He’s seeing friends in the Los Angeles area and they’re planning to participate in a game show.
“I’m a bit nervous about COVID,” Lopez told San José Spotlight while donning a K-95 mask. “But I’m really excited to see my friends again. I only get to see them once or twice a year.”
Though masks are no longer required at the airport, airport officials said it’s better to be on the safe side.
“SJC supports the CDC’s recommendation that travelers wear masks in indoor public transportation settings,” Renelle said.
Lourae Castillo flew in from Salt Lake City Friday afternoon with her 2 year-old Jamie to spend some quality time with family in Monterey. Castillo hasn’t flown since the pandemic, as her family often drive to California.
“The flight was long but uneventful,” Castillo told San José Spotlight, noting very few people on her flight had masks on. “I’m glad our flight didn’t get canceled.”
Jocelyn Jones, Castillo’s mother, said she’s looking forward to afternoons at the pool with her granddaughter during the long weekend.
“I haven’t seen them in five months,” Jones said, holding Jamie in her arms.
For Jane Cai, who traveled from Seattle to meet with her friends in San Jose, COVID is still a big concern. She put off flying since the beginning of the pandemic but was surprised at how smooth her flight on Friday was.
“I’m taking reasonable cautions,” Cai told San José Spotlight. “But I’d love to get back to life, seeing my friends and visiting new places again.”
Contact Jack Delaney at [email protected] Contact Tran Nguyen at [email protected] or follow @nguyenntrann on Twitter.
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