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Air travel trending up as Thanksgiving approaches

Jacksonville International Airport is expecting about 7,000 passengers on the days surrounding the holiday compared to a few hundred per day in the spring.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Despite the COVID-19 cases spiking nationwide, 2020 could be a record travel week for the year at airports across the country.

The weekend prior to Thanksgiving week saw more than 2 million passengers fly according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Jacksonville International Airport is expecting nearly 7,000 passengers on the days surrounding the holiday.

"No, not as busy as it is normally, but people still moving," Gary Wright before passing through security checkpoint. He like many others flying Tuesday were headed-out as part of their holiday plans.

Like Ray and Jill Kirk visiting Jacksonville from Houston. 

“[It was] easy for the most part," Ray Kirk, who is visiting the First Coast from Houston, explained about the protocols onboard and on the ground.

Passengers said the lines are not as long as they are used to seeing this time of year and airport officials told the On Your Side team leading-up to the holiday that it is not necessary to arrive more than the recommended 2 hours before departure.

For some, the plans have been on the calendar for a while. 

Eve Cheddar and her husband brought extra supplies as they embark on flight to Washington D.C. to visit their son and grandchildren.

“We have our masks and sanitizing wipes, and we’re ready to go," Cheddar said.

Other travelers noted individually wrapped snacks on flights and open middle seats are reassuring.

 “I did a lot of traveling with my business career and this was probably one of the easiest flights I’ve taken," John Powers said.