LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — At the beginning of the 2020 Pandemic, airline travel was one of the first industries to suffer and experts say it will take two to three years to bounce back.
Director of Marketing at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington Amy Caudill said during March and April travel nearly shut down in airports all over the U.S. except for some emergency travelers.
"Now we're starting to see that pick up with some leisure travelers," explained Caudill. "I think there's been a lot of people who have been cooped up and who are ready to get out and heading to those beach destinations, but you know it's gonna take a while for your service to recover."
She said while leisure travel is coming back a bit, business travel that usually makes up about 60 percent of traffic at Blue Grass Airport is still lagging.
While they understand not everyone is ready to travel, Caudill explained Blue Grass Airport is ready for passengers during the pandemic.
When passengers arrive at the TSA checkpoint, beyond spacing decals on the floor the process will look similar but there are some changes.
"You also are allowed certain, new ways such as additional hand sanitizer in your bag. So you can have that extra liquid with you all the other liquid policies still do apply," said Caudill. "But there really are a lot of procedures in place to make sure that if there's something that's in your bag that might alarm that you're actually the ones searching through your bag to help find that item with the agent so that other people aren't touching your items."
Caudill also recommended passengers take advantage of the ability to use a mobile boarding pass to cut down on contact with agents throughout the airport.
"Behind security checkpoint we have a lot of plexiglass so at all of the gate counters, all of the retail shops the restaurants--they all have that place and of course the restaurants are following all the rules of Gov. Beshear and his administration to make sure we have that social distancing in between tables and the face mask. We're doing everything we can to possibly keep people safe here," said Caudill.
In regard to parking, valet services are temporarily suspended and long-term parking is currently offering the seventh night free. Caudill also has a recommendation for those picking people up.
"We recommend if you're coming to the terminal to pick people up that you wait in your vehicle," Caudill said. "That just helps us to prevent the number of people there in the terminal and make sure it says passengers only."
Due to the lower traveler numbers, some airlines have cut back flights. However, Caudill said to be patient as customers will see more options in July and even more in August. She also encouraged all passengers to check their airline's website for the latest requirements while on their flight. Some airlines are requiring masks while others are not.