Long Beach, News

Air traveling increases for the holidays during the pandemic

The Long Beach Airport (LGB) announced on Monday, Nov. 22 that they are expecting an increase in flight passengers this holiday season after a long period of reduced passenger numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the week of Nov. 22 to Nov. 28, LGB estimated their flight passenger numbers would be “five times greater than in 2020,” according to their website.

Long Beach Airport director, Cynthia Guidry acknowledged the attraction LGB gets “during the holiday rush,” and wants to provide passengers an easygoing flight.

“Even during the busiest days of the year, we are confident we can deliver a stress-free experience,” Guidry said on the LGB website.

While LGB passenger numbers are “approximately 10% lower than pre-pandemic 2019 activity,” they are also expecting “strong demand throughout the remainder of the holiday season, in December and early January,” according to the LGB website.

During Thanksgiving break, some CSULB students flew to their destinations without any issues despite being in a pandemic.

Dereck Davis, a CSULB alumnus and former marketing major flew back to Long Beach after photographing a wedding in Tacoma, Washington.

Davis said he was satisfied with the airline services at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport, and did not run into any issues during his time there.

“I flew with Delta Airlines, and they provided wonderful customer service,” he said. “It was a good experience, overall.”

However, for others, traveling over the holidays wasn’t as great.

Todd Henneman, a CSULB journalism professor, experienced some inconveniences he had on his United Airlines flight during Thanksgiving break from Chicago to Los Angeles with his three-year-old son, Gus.

First, Henneman experienced a cab delay and was notified that his flight would also be delayed one day late. Then, another problem occurred for the re-booked flight coming from Chicago to Los Angeles.

“We were on our United [Airlines] flight, I looked at our boarding passes and noticed that [Gus and I] had different boarding times,” he said. “I looked [around] and realized we were put on different flights.”

After realizing that his son would not be physically on board with him, he told a United Airlines agent that there was a mistake made on both of their boarding passes.

“The customer service agent who [helped us], said somehow, Gus had been booked into the United [Airlines] system as an adult instead of a child,” he said.

After acknowledging this mistake, the customer service agent updated the correct passenger age information into the United Airlines system.

After the two got off their flight, a Delta Airlines gate agent gave Henneman’s son a small gift due to the inconvenience.

“A [Delta] gate agent was nearby and came over to give Gus a little Delta wing [pin]. I thought it was very nice of [them] to do that,” he said with a smile.

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