Airports Are Scary Now, Thanks Corona
Denver International Airport is the 5th busiest airport in the United States - usually. DIA is also the large airport in North America by land area and second largest in the world. Employing upwards of 35,000 people annually, and helping transport 69 million passengers during 2019, Denver's airport and the hub for air travel in the Rocky Mountain West....is very, very empty.
Glenn has covered the eerily empty skies that you can view via an interactive map and compare current skies versus normal skies.
Recently, a family member of mine traveled to Texas and found himself in DIA on Wednesday morning with his wife and child - and mostly no one else. Naturally, he shared the surreal sight of the nearly empty Terminal A on Facebook with the caption, "This is creepy".
Well, he's not wrong.
According to my uncle, getting out of the Uber at DIA, checking bags, clearing security, and getting to the flight gate took all of 15 minutes. I've done it at some ungodly-early hour within less than 30 minutes and thought that was impressive; this is a whole new level.
Once landed in Texas, he was also so good as to take a snap of the lobby in Houston, further proving that this experience is not an anomaly to Denver alone.
A week ago, my brother came for a quick visit from Maryland, and told me BWI was also full of closed shops and not-so-full of travelers.
Desolate airports aren't particularly new-news during the past couple months of pandemic, with flights down anywhere from 38% in somewhere as local as Natrona County Airport, to an outstanding 96% at Orlando International Airport in Florida.
Likely, the shock of the pandemic will lead to some positive changes for air travel, but for now, these photos won't stop catching me off guard and just being flat out unsettling.
I personally love airports: love the bustle, love all the strangers off on their own missions, love the independence of my own little mission (as I almost always travel alone and really love it that way), I even love roaming the terminals and browsing whatever pointless little stores I can find. Yes, I'm already missing the travel I envisioned for this year and was supposed to have done in the past 2 months, but just as much - I really miss the liveliness of a busy airport.