MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memorial Day travel was expected to be at low, experts said.
One of the biggest indicators of the small expectations for travel this weekend was the fact that AAA didn’t issue a Memorial Day travel forecast for the first time in more than 20 years.
That forecast estimates the number of people traveling during the holiday weekend, but that number was thought to become a record low.
Just last year that forecast showed more than 43 million people traveling.
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That’s the second most in more than 20 years. But this year the complete opposite.
FOX13 spoke to people who said they’re concerned with the coronavirus being brought into Shelby County and even taken to other places.
“I think everybody has been housed up and quarantined long enough,” said Janie Scarbrough who will travel. “There are pros and cons to it all, so I think if you want to go somewhere, go.”
Scout Davis had the opposite opinion.
“We are in phase 2 of opening so I wouldn’t advise it if you can stay home, but if you absolutely need to see family members, I understand,” Davis said.
To make up for those numbers, the agency expected a drastic increase in travel in the summer and fall months as more of the stay at home orders will be lifted.
The airport said Thursday they screened just over 1,500 people. That’s down 83 percent compared to the same day last year.
They added that they expected a slight increase, maybe surpassing 2,000 people screened.
Nationally TSA volume was down 88 percent. So Memphis was doing a bit better than the national average.
The Memphis airport said compared to recent weeks, there’s a steady increase as people begin to feel more comfortable traveling.
“I’m not surprised,” said Geraldo Jara who will not fly. “I’m not going to fly unless I necessarily have to do it. If it is an obligation, I’ll do it but otherwise I’ll stay home.”
Teresia Bunting was originally reluctant to fly.
“I was reluctant to do it, but everything is opening back up,” Bunting said. “So I thought I’ll just take my chance.”
The airport has taken additional cleaning and sanitation steps at the gate areas and the security checkpoints.
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