Memphis airport travelers say spending time with family is worth the risk this holiday season

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Travel this holiday season is on the rise, despite an uptick in Covid -19 cases across the country and the city. The Memphis International Airport was packed Thursday as travelers were flying out to be with family.

Travelers told WREG’s Jerrita Patterson spending time with family for Christmas is worth the risk.  Brian Grimes said he’s doing what he can to stay safe.

“You have to have your mask on at all times. And the sanitizer, make sure you have that,” he said.

Grimes said this year has been stolen from him and others, and he refuses to miss out on another big family moment. On top of Christmas, he told WREG his cousin has a surprise in store for a very special someone.

“My cousin is going to propose to his girlfriend,” he said.

“When is that happening,” asked Patterson.

“Tomorrow,” he answered.

Other travelers like Sydney said he’s less fearful about flying when compared to other modes of transportation.

“I’m flying home, because I feel like flying is safe,” he said.

But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the only way to really stay safe is by staying home. Additionally, the Transportation Security Administration said this holiday it is expecting a new pandemic record with the number of travelers flying.

The TSA said it expects about half the number of travelers compared to last year, but that’s still a lot of people. In fact, an estimated one million Americans are expected to fly on Christmas Eve.

Sydney said he knows the influx in is something he can’t ignore. But he’s hopeful hopeful going home will offer the chance to relax and rejuvenate.

“It’s not going to be a huge celebration,” he said. “Instead it’s a chance to regroup for the new year.”

 A new year he and others are hoping will be a change for the better.

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