LAX gears up for a busy holiday travel weekend amid concerns of a new spike in COVID-19 cases

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Millions of people are on the move this holiday weekend, amid concerns of a new spike in COVID-19 cases — with new cases numbers already ticking up.

“It’s a lot easier than it was a year ago. Much easier,” said Bob Hobart. “And I actually enjoyed the trip because of it.”

This is a man who knows COVID-19 rules. Hobart lives in the Philippines and travels through LAX on his way to Florida once a year for his father’s birthday.

Despite the new omicron variant BA.2, which has had 31 states and territories seeing an increase of at least 10% in COVID-19 cases, Hobart says air travel in 2022 has meant fewer obstacles.

“Last year I had to be quarantined in Manila for 10 days, and that wasn’t fun,” he said. “And actually when I got there, I got a cold.”

So this year has felt different for Hobart, and others who feel comfortable traveling for this holiday break.

Friday and Monday are expected to be the busiest travel days nationwide. United Airlines alone with more than 400,000 passengers a day, and Delta with nearly half a million.

Airfare is also up by 40% for domestic flights, since January.

A traveler said he’s ok with adhering to safety rules that got him through the worst of the pandemic.

“We have all of our shots. We mask up in the airport. I mean we’ve traveled quite a few times in the airport during the pandemic so we’re kinda used to it now.”

And he’s traveling to Tahiti, a place where he says there will be no roads like this, which means fewer people overall.

As for Hobart, he says he’s vaccinated and survived a mild case of coronavirus, so he’ll be ready to go maskless once the federal transportation mandate has been lifted.

He says he knows he’s got a few more years of making this trip to the states for his father.

“He’ll be 95 so, he says he’s going to live to be 100, so I’ve got 5 more trips after this one,” Hobart said.

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