Traffic picking up just before the holiday season at RSW

The path to economic recovery is going through Southwest Florida International Airport as people are starting to form lines in the terminal to get on their flights. This comes just before the official start of the holiday travel season.

With flights arriving at and departing from RSW, many are looking for an escape from COVID-19. If the virus is here, travelers like Ali Melgard say they shouldn’t have to be trapped.

“I think at a certain point I had to continue living my life in a safer way than I was previously,” said Melgard, who is visiting Fort Myers.

During the pandemic, the number of flyers passing through the airport in Southwest Florida has dropped drastically. From more than one million in February to not even 55,000 in April.

“I was supposed to come down in April but I couldn’t obviously with how bad things were,” said Daniel Rotar, also visiting Fort Myers.

Rostar is taking off once again, he says, because of all the measures the airport and airlines have been taking to make sure everyone stays safe. “Trying to enforce the masks, handing out sanitizing wipes as soon as you get on the plane really help me feel more comfortable,” he said.

The number of people walking through these terminals has been steadily climbing. The spokesperson for the airport told WINK News that some of the restaurants and shops are reopening to meet demand.

More than 230,000 people roamed these halls just in August alone. One theory is that people are simply tired of quarantine. “As sad as it is, a lot of people will get tired of being cooped up for so long and we have to try to go back to normal at some point in time,” Rostar said.

The travel numbers from September will be released this Tuesday, according to the airport’s spokesperson.

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
Writer:Drew Hill
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