Orlando International Airport sees busiest day since pandemic began

Airport leaders project 44,347 people will depart OIA on Sunday

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orlando International Airport is projecting to see its highest number of passengers depart from the airport since the pandemic began on Sunday.

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Frenia Hunter arrived at OIA a few hours before her flight back home to Boston. She was in town visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Just to get away and see some family and it was sunny all the days we were here,” Hunter said. “The weather was great. It was really refreshing decision to come down here.”

She said she didn’t know she was leaving on the busiest day of the holiday travel period at OIA.

“I didn’t know that at all. I thought we would sneak in and sneak out. It was a little bit of a surprise,” she said.

Airport officials are projecting 44,347 travelers will fly out of OIA on Sunday with Monday close behind. According to the airport, the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year almost 163,000 travelers flew in and out of the airport.

OIA is seeing about half the crowds from last year, but the airport is still among the busiest in the country right now.

News 6 saw wait times at security on Sunday ranging between five to 20 minutes. At one point, the TSA line at Gates 1 through 59 stretched almost to the food court.

Alex Davis was traveling to visit family in Alabama.

“It looks super long, the lines,” Davis said.

Davis said she is not worried about traveling during the pandemic.

“I feel pretty safe because I’m washing my hands and wearing my mask and all that,” Davis said.

Travelers said despite the warning and safety concerns, they are glad they made the trip.

“We had a great time,” Hunter said.