ALL NEWS

Fewer Utahns driving over Christmas, but uptick in air travel is expected

Dec 21, 2020, 6:41 PM

fewer Utahns driving Christmas...

Holiday travelers walk to check-in at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. Photo credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – The American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting that many Utahns will stay home for the holidays.

The association estimates travel from Dec. 23, 2020, through Jan. 3rd, 20221 will decline by 30% as compared to last year.

AAA Utah spokesman Aldo Vazquez said that is the biggest drop in over a decade. He believes the fear of COVID-19 is putting a dent in people’s travel plans.

However, fear is not the only factor.

“Because a lot of states are implementing new restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, people are listening and putting off their [vacations] for the time being,” Vazquez said.

Those restrictions can sometimes force people to change their plans quickly.

“Last minute, maybe a day or two before, they’re deciding not to [travel],” Vazquez said. “They’re listening to what’s going on on the news, paying attention to what’s happening to the destinations they may be going to and they decide, ‘You know what? Right now’s not the best time to travel.'”

If Utahns do travel, most will do so by car.

The airport may be another story

However, officials from Salt Lake City International Airport (Airport) think they will see 16,000 travelers come through the airport doors this Christmas. That is the most people they have seen since the pandemic started.

And that total doesn’t include the number of people who will connect through the airport.

RELATED: US airport traffic rising despite holiday travel warnings

Airport spokeswoman Nancy Volmer says airlines are making it more attractive to travel.

“The airlines have loosened some of their policies so people are able to make last-minute travel plans,” Volmer says.

This includes getting rid of change fees.

But a few things at the Airport haven’t changed.  Volmer still recommends travelers get to the airport two hours early so they can catch their flight. Masks will also be required, along with the many other COVID-19 safety measures the Airport has in place.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

After statistics in recent years showed an increase in bicycle crashes police and the Bicycle Colle...

Mike Anderson and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

After an uptick in bicycle crashes, Utah law enforcement, Bicycle Collective plead for change

After statistics in recent years showed an increase in bicycle crashes police and the Bicycle Collective are asking cyclists to stay safe.

2 hours ago

One person was killed in Park City after state troopers say their car crashed into a tree and burst...

JOSH ELLIS, TV

One dead after car crashes into tree in Park City

One person was killed in Park City after state troopers say their car crashed into a tree and burst into flames early Thursday morning.

2 hours ago

Micah Hyde shakes hands with Post Malone...

Kyle Remund

Missionary returning home gives musician Post Malone a Book of Mormon

The Hyde family was getting ready to welcome Micah Hyde back from serving his mission when they encountered the famous singer at the airport.

3 hours ago

BYU Professor Bryan Hopkins talks with his students on a turf grass research plot on BYU campus....

Allessandra Harris Gurr

BYU professor helps to lift ban on hybrid Bermudagrass in Utah

Hybrid Bermudagrass, long banned for its relation to the noxious common Bermudagrass, could be a game changer for water conservation.

4 hours ago

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks during the Republican National...

Emma Keddington

JD Vance closes out day 3 at Republican National Convention, officially accepts VP nomination

JD Vance described his upbringing, called housing affordability and pledged that he will "give [Americans] everything I have."

11 hours ago

Firefighters are camping to continue to battle the Silver King Fire...

Aimee Cobabe

Firefighters are camping to continue to battle the Silver King Fire

647 firefighters are camping in the small towns of Richfield and Marysvalle as they continue to battle the Silver King Fire.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Fewer Utahns driving over Christmas, but uptick in air travel is expected