Local News

RDU travelers explain why they decided to fly against CDC advice

Posted November 25, 2020 5:13 a.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2020 3:36 p.m. EST

— Despite repeated guidance to stay home, nearly 17,000 people are projected to travel through RDU Airport on Wednesday, known as one of the busiest travel days of the year.

Far fewer people will travel compared to years past, but certainly more than they have in the past several months.

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According to RDU officials, the day before Thanksgiving is the second busiest day of the year for the airport. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is the busiest day, and more than 18,200 people are expected to pass through this year.

Throughout Wednesday, WRAL News saw a steady stream of cars with passengers setting off for their destinations.

Some said they had hesitations about flying but, overall, they feel safe. Most admitted we have a long way to go in getting the virus under control, but the idea of canceling Thanksgiving plans because of it is out the picture.

One traveler, Alex Eck, said he was in Raleigh to visit old friends from high school. Eck said he had second thoughts about visiting North Carolina at a time coronavirus cases are soaring high.

"We should probably try not to travel ... but sometimes from my perspective ... I'd just much rather be with my family and friends for the holidays," he said. "It did spark some sort of hesitation, but I tested negative a couple of days ago and I trust myself to be as safe as I can, and that’s the best thing I can do."

Another traveler, Jake Russell, flew in from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He said flying during a pandemic felt normal, all things considered.

"We’re from the area, so we're having Thanksgiving with everybody," he said. "Personally I wore two masks while I was on the plane. I'm not going to let it stop me from traveling here and there. It’s been eight months -- so I just thought it was time for me to see family."

Out of all the people WRAL News spoke with, many said they plan to be in small settings with about four to five people. ​

With the CDC urging travelers to get tested, and only a day left before Thanksgiving, a rapid test is the only viable option. Slots for rapid tests have been filling up, but a few places still have appointments available.

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