Nashville International Airport sees double the holiday travelers compared to 2020

Nashville International Airport sees double the holiday travelers compared to 2020
Posted at 9:47 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 09:38:48-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — At Nashville International Airport, airport personnel hope the only thing spreading this year is Christmas cheer.

"The airport's responsibility is to provide a clean, safe and friendly environment and that's what we work really hard to do," said Communications Director for Nashville International Airport, Kym Gerlock. “We have aggressive cleaning protocol, we’ve installed ticket shields, touch-less buttons on the elevators, UV sanitation on the escalator hand rail.”

Up to 25,000 travelers depart the airport daily, doubling last year’s holiday numbers.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Rebeiro said when traveling amid the growing COVID cases, it’s all about mitigating risks.

“I think that it is safe if you have tested recently, if you are boosted- not only fully vaccinated, but also boosted- and if you’re wearing a high quality mask,” said Rebeiro, who works at Division of Infectious Diseases & Epidemiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Those masks are especially important when in close proximity to other travelers like on a plane or waiting in line. He recommends N95, KN95 or KN94 masks.

Rebeiro said when weighing your risks, also consider those at your destination. “So, if I’m at low risk of transmitting to them, are they at low risk of transmitting to me? Have they been boosted? Have they been in contact with lots of people? Etc.”

With the surge of travelers through BNA, Gerlock said wait times are typically busiest during early morning flights, "so if you’re an early, early morning flyer just keep that in mind.”

This all comes as the airport continues renovations. “If you haven’t been to the airport in a while another reason to get here a little early- we have two terminals now instead of one, two separate terminals. So know your airline so you know which terminal to go through,” said Gerlock.

So when traveling this year, plan ahead and take precautions. Your health may be the greatest gift of all.

“We really encourage people to get to the airport early, check your flight status, bring your mask- if not, we have them- and just if you don’t feel well, please don’t travel,” said Gerlock.