MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Air travel is making a bit of a comeback, with more passengers boarding planes amid surging COVID-19 numbers.
“For us, on a day like today, we’d do like 117,000 passengers,” explained Miami-Dade Aviation Director Lester Sola. “Today, we’ll probably do 26,000 to 28,000 passengers, which is a significant reduction but significantly more than we had at our lowest point which was 3,500 passengers.”
And with more passengers, but drastically fewer flights, some planes are packed.
A CBS4 viewer sent us a picture from a morning flight to Indianapolis. Nearly every seat was filled.
Airline Analyst Seth Kaplan told us several airlines have already announced they’re scrapping capacity limits.
“You do need to know right now, that when you fly American Airlines or fly United Airlines, or Spirt, a large airline in Fort Lauderdale, there’s a chance that your flight is going to be completely full,” Kaplan said.
The Braden family was surprised to see so many people on their from Chicago to Miami.
“The flight also was pretty crowded. A lot of middle seat were sold,” said Cathy Braden, “definitely more people than we thought.”
It was also a surprise for the Carey-Munoz family.
“I felt comfortable,” said Carolina Munoz. “Everyone had face masks on so that’s what lead to my comfortability. We wear masks at home. So bringing that with us here, we’re all on the same plane. We’re all looking out for each other.”
American Airlines showed us how they clean their planes, disinfecting between each flight, then a deeper clean at the end of the day and using HEPA filters, similar to hospital grade, to clean the air every two to four minutes.
“Every seven days every single mainline jet is going through a fogging process that’s electro-static fogger,” said Juan Carlos Liscano, VP of American Airlines Caribbean and Latin America in Miami. “It charges the molecules of the disinfectant and adheres to the surface of the interior of the cabin and that stays on for seven days.”
Despite how clean a plane is there are people who are still uncomfortable with the idea of flying on a plane with a lot of people on it.
If you want to try to get onto a flight that has fewer people just call the airline, many times they change your flight.
American Airlines said it will notify passenger a week before their flight if it appears it will be close to full.
They tell us passenger will have the option of canceling their reservation and getting a refund, or they can switch to a less crowded flight.