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Holiday weekend brings heaviest air travel to San Diego since start of pandemic

Posted at 9:11 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 02:14:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- This weekend marked the heaviest travel days since the beginning of the pandemic, according to San Diego Airport Authority officials.

There was a steady stream of drop-offs and pick-ups at San Diego International Airport, wrapping up the holiday weekend. Erika Collette is just getting back from Idaho, traveling with her husband and three young children.

"It actually went pretty smoothly. No delays or anything except the terminal we were in was insanely packed," Collette said.

Colette said she feels extremely lucky, knowing that thousands of travelers in other parts of the country were slammed with delays and cancellations. According to, Southwest Airlines alone had 34,000 delays and more than 2,600 canceled flights last month due to weather and a labor shortage.

According to a San Diego Airport Authority spokeswoman, Sabrina LoPiccolo, Friday, July 2, marked the heaviest air traffic day since March 2020, with around 68,000 people coming and going from San Diego. Those numbers have been steadily increasing as people feel more comfortable traveling again, LoPiccolo added.

"We would've like to come here earlier, but we accept what we have to," Gilbert Guerrero from El Paso, Texas, said.

Guerrero and his family had to postpone their San Diego trip multiple times since COVID hit.

"My daughter said we will put it off and put it off, longer and longer. We finally got vaccinated, and we're here!" Guerrero said.

Newly vaccinated people like Guerrero are driving the number of travelers back up. This June's travel numbers at San Diego International Airport were up by 268% compared to last June.

Guerrero said now he is ready to accompany his 5-year-old grandson Trey, any place he wants to go.

"We've been anxious, just to travel. Get out and do things again!" Guerrero said.

By the end of the month, Airport Authority officials anticipate they will hit near 2019 numbers.