News Flash

City of Minot News Flash

Posted on: November 3, 2021

'It's going to be a little different'

Travelers in Minot airport2

The upcoming holiday travel season is shaping up to be a busy and stressful time for travelers and everyone in the airline industry.

The staff at Minot International Airport is preparing for the potential of a perfect storm of sorts, including these elements to consider:

  • Ongoing COVID-19 guidelines, including being required to wear masks in airports and for the duration of all flights.
  • The days around Thanksgiving are typically the busiest of the year.
  • The potential for bad weather increases in November.
  • On Nov. 8, United States will reopen its land borders to fully vaccinated travelers coming from Mexico and Canada for non-essential purposes.

Minot Airport Director Jennifer Eckman is well aware of the potential challenges facing airports and airlines around the country.

“Opening the border is happening very close to our peak traveling season, so there may be people who travel once or twice a year coming back,” she said. “Or in this case, some people maybe haven’t traveled for a year or two because of COVID. It’s going to be a little more stressful for some travelers.”

In addition, industries around the country, including airlines and many associated businesses, continue to struggle with finding enough employees. A federal order requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated takes effect Nov. 22, which could lead to further employee shortages.

“Travelers may experience some places that are short-handed no matter where they’re traveling,” Eckman said. “Travelers should expect some changes, especially if they haven’t flown for a while. Just be prepared and expect that it’s going to be a little different.”

Overall, Eckman’s message is simple.

“With COVID-19, with the holidays coming up, with the potential for snow, and with the overall shortage of people working across every industry, it’s going to be a little different,” she said. “Some things are likely going to be a little slower, so we urge everyone to be prepared.”

“And we’re asking everyone to be patient with employees at the airport, the airlines, or at TSA. They’re all just trying to do their jobs,” Eckman added. “There are some uncontrollable situations with weather delays or mechanical issues that aren’t necessarily anyone’s fault, but they can still happen. Be patient.”

You can find more information about airport screening procedures at tsa.gov.

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