Philadelphia International Airport shows first signs of recovering from pandemic

TSA line at Philadelphia International Airport
Photo credit Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  More and more people are throwing coronavirus caution to the wind and flying to their vacation destinations as air travel makes a comeback. 

There are now signs of life everywhere in the terminals at Philadelphia International Airport as more and more people are traveling.

“Travel was actually very easy in and out in comparison to what I thought it would be with the COVID and everything,” said Emily Gunter, who flew in from Charlotte to visit relatives in Philly. 

Philadelphia Airport’s Florence Brown says it’s a far cry from what this place was a couple months ago.

“In April, we saw about 120,000 passengers. We expect that June’s passenger volume is going to be about three times that amount. We are looking at about 400,000 passengers this month,” Brown said. 

American Airlines, which has its main hub in Philadelphia, saw just over 80,000 passengers during the first half of June. 

Overall, airport officials say they’re being realistic, aware that June travel is down 85% from one year ago. 

But they’re expecting better things ahead, with a surge coming in July and August.

Restaurants and a tavern are reopening despite the fact that they are indoors. 

“There are still common seating areas available. For those who want to pick up food, grab and go, and then go and have a seat before their flight. So each of those seating locations are consciously built to have a 6-foot space between each table, enabling social distancing,” Brown explained.

Brown says passengers should be aware of new travel conditions, such as face coverings, which are now mandatory.

“We are also encouraging our passengers to arrive early. So that means two hours for domestic, three hours for international, because, although things are a little bit quieter here, we still have longer protocols due to social distancing,” she added.