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Airlines Prepare for Rush as Travel Restrictions End

As international travel restrictions fall away due to the rising vaccination rate, airlines are bracing for the long lines that will come with an influx of travelers, according to Reuters.

The background: Airline executives are expecting a surge of international travelers since President Biden signed an executive order, effective Nov. 8, that eases COVID-19-related travel restrictions for people traveling from a range of countries, including China. 

Readying for a rush: Homeland Security is preparing for a “significant domestic and international holiday air travel increase” on Nov. 8, though they expect to be able to handle the surge in traffic without disruption. 

Vaccine checks: The executive order also imposed new vaccine requirements for foreign travelers. Airlines will verify international travelers’ vaccine status before flying, which is expected to add more time to airport waits.

Employee exodus avoided: Some industry experts had worried that company vaccine mandates by airlines could result in many employees departing just before the holiday season, further exacerbating logjams, but airline executives are suggesting those fears were overblown. 

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