San Francisco Thanksgiving travel down 75%, but still busy despite warnings, SFO spokesperson says

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Dire health warnings from the CDC, surgeon general and state officials had an impact on Bay Area residents. A spokesman at San Francisco International Airport says travel was down 75% over the weekend compared to this weekend last year, the weekend before Thanksgiving.

"It's good to hear that it's going down," said Melanie Tran of Daly City Monday as she headed for her flight. She is meeting her boyfriend in New Mexico and keeping him company as he drives back to San Francisco.

"I'm kind of scared but I kind of have to travel, so there's not much I can do about it. So I try to do my part - wear my mask, hand sanitizer, all that," Tran said.

Protective measures seemed to give travelers a sense of safety as they check in for their flights Monday.


"They do practice social distancing on some flights, they sit you with your parties. I am not really concerned about it. They give you face masks and hand sanitizer, stuff like that," said Tony Garcia who was in San Francisco for a getaway and was headed back home to Los Angeles.

George Deshong of Santa Clara was going to Pennsylvania to see his parents.

"The airlines have done a good job filtering the air. Socially distancing. I am getting a test before and after my flight to make sure I didn't contract anything along the way. And I don't think my parents are in the at risk age group. With those things, it is a risk - based decision and I decided to travel."

RELATED: Traveling for the holidays? Here are 7 tips to get you there safely
EMBED More News Videos

Here are seven tips for traveling during the holiday season, amid the coronavirus pandemic.



Steering Shi said he did hesitate in making his decision, but decided to go because that's what others are doing.

"I am actually headed back to China because it is Thanksgiving. It is a one week break, all of the Americans go back to their homes so me, I just go back to China."

But after arriving at the airport, he admitted to feeling nervous.

"Right now it is feeling kind of dangerous because you don't know if the people have COVID-19. There are a lot of people traveling, so I am doing my best to protect myself," he said. He was wearing goggles and gloves along with his mask.

RELATED: If you get a test, can you travel for the holidays? Bay Area health officers give mixed messages
EMBED More News Videos

As we inch closer to Thanksgiving 2020, there are some mixed messages about holiday travel. Can you get tested for COVID-19 and then travel to see family or friends? The answer from health officials depends on which Bay Area county you live in.



Tandra Perry was heading home to San Antonio after visiting her husband in San Francisco. She says she doesn't feel great hearing all the warnings, but her plans were already made, her ticket already purchased.

"A lot of people should stay home and not travel. If anything, I'd rather do Christmas to see my loved ones," Perry said.

San Francisco's airport had less than 60,000 people pass through its checkpoints from Friday through Sunday, down from over 240,000 people over the same three days in 2019.

Sunday across the country was the busiest day at airports since the pandemic started.


App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.