COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Travelers are seeing a huge difference at the John Glenn International airport due to the coronavirus with 12,000 travelers a day in April 2019 compared to just 500 a day in April 2020.
“Walking in here and seeing nobody, it’s a little eerie,” said Dawn Spitler of Columbus.
There are no lines, no crowds and no one running to picking up luggage at John Glenn.
“We have never seen anything like this before,” said Ivan Vore of Columbus.
Vore is traveling to Philadelphia for a new temporary job. He even showed up several hours early not sure what to expect.
“This is like my first time being at an empty airport,”said Vore. “This is my first time doing any kind of flight since this whole pandemic hit.”
His story is very similar to Haley Spitler who’s going to St. Louis for basic training. She was at at the airport at around 11:00 a.m. for a flight that didn’t leave until 4:27 p.m.
“I honestly expected long lines,” said Spitler. “I was kind of scared and thought there were going to like be big crowds but there’s not so it’s just weird.”
Now, she waits at the airport with her family listening to informational announcements on the PA system about coronavirus safety.
The flight board at the airport shows there are several cancellations due to low passenger numbers.
There are only 35 to 45 flights a day compared to 150 this time last year, according to the Columbus Airport Authority.
Luenda Legg is at the airport working to get a refund for another flight that was canceled in March. She does not want a voucher for another flight because she’s not sure when she will feel comfortable to fly again.
“I don’t believe that I would be [flying] for the next year,” said Legg. “I’m concerned because of the way the air is filtered that we would possibly have issues.”
She understands the uncertainty of this pandemic could last longer than expected, which could mean an empty airport is the norm for the coming weeks and months as the curve begins to flatten.