Sunport prepares for holiday crowds

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Things are finally starting to get back to normal at the Albuquerque International Sunport.

Travel is still down, but the numbers are getting better. The airport took a hard hit during the pandemic.

“We’re traveling to Houston, Texas to see grandpa,” said Nurit Harai, a passenger from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

After a big pause last year during the pandemic, some families finally feel comfortable to pack those bags.

The most recent average for November is around 12,000 passengers a day.

“I’ve traveled about four times during COVID,” said Robert Muzzi, a passenger from North Carolina.

Officials with the Sunport are hoping for even more passengers during the holidays. They said the biggest day for travel is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Pre-pandemic they’d see about 20,000 people. They’re hoping for around 14,000 this year.

KOB 4 met some people who are excited to spend this holiday season with family who said they feel safe traveling.

“Absolutely. You have some things that go on we’re taking the precautions lined out by the authorities and the city folk, right?" said Rocky Keenum, who was traveling with his girlfriend Kelsey Olson from Carlsbad. “They say wear a mask, we wear a mask, they say you gotta keep your distance we keep our distance. Can’t let that hinder your holidays. Family means everything.”

At least for now, they’re not letting COVID get in the way. People are keeping their space and masking up.

“We’re taking all precautions we can to make sure we’re as safe as possible,” said Harai.