Labor Day holiday weekend travel remains busy amid COVID surge

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Labor Day was a busy day on planes, trains and automobiles but there was breathing room at the airport and train stations.

“We’re already an hour behind and we’re maybe a couple hundred miles into our trip of an 800-mile trip,” said Scott Payne, who was driving from Cape Cod to the Outer Banks with a stop to rest in Connecticut.

“Travel [has] been pretty tough, there’s a lot of traffic out there right now,” Payne said.

He might have had better luck at the airport, like Dwayne John of Waterbury, who skipped a packed bus and caught an early flight home from South Carolina instead.

“That flight was pretty empty,” John said. “Everybody was pretty [much] abiding by the rules.”

It was a similar story for Diana Gillis of Meriden, who had a good experience at Bradley International Airport too, different she said from her experience at the airport in Orlando.

“Easy, in and out here,” Gillis said.

The surge in the COVID Delta variant did not slow down these passengers. At the TSA line, there was a steady flow of passengers going through and moving fast for the most part. People were taking advantage of the on-site COVID testing too.

But for those landing back in the Nutmeg State, they might have found themselves in the same boat as Payne in the end, with stop and go traffic on some parts of I-91 and I-95 by midday,

“Knowing it was a holiday weekend, we expected the traffic but I didn’t think it was going to be this bad,” Payne said.

The CT Airport Authority said travel has been down about 20% this year compared to pre-pandemic Labor Day holidays. As of Monday morning, Connecticut State Police said had they responded to about 3,500 calls for service. There were two fatal accidents during the holiday weekend.

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