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SAN DIEGO – This holiday weekend, the San Diego International Airport reported the most travelers through its facility since the pandemic hit home in March 2020.

Compared to last year, airport traffic increased by nearly 200% this past weekend, though this year did not quite reach travel numbers from the holiday weekend two years ago.

“The delays actually let us go to the beach a little bit longer,” said Brandon Lucas, who was visiting from San Francisco, “so that was nice.”

Travelers in San Diego on Monday shared similar stories of full flights, some delays and an overall increase in people passing through the airport.

“We are definitely noticing there’s a lot more people traveling,” Camila Porra said.

Some 68,000 people were reported as coming and going from the airport on July 2, a time when many were gearing up for the Fourth of July weekend. Airport officials are expecting July 5 numbers to be around the same as they were July 2.

While travel numbers haven’t quite reached pre-pandemic levels, they’re climbing month by month since May when vaccination rates also began to spike.

“When I flew before the airport was pretty much empty and we would wipe down the seat, wear our gloves,” Teresa Vardeman said. “Now I feel like people are just a little bit more relaxed.”

Although many international routes have been halted, the airport recently added a dozen new domestic destinations. They include:

Alaska Airlines

  • NYC via JFK
  • Bozeman, Montana
  • Kalispell, Montana

Southwest Airlines

  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Added flight to Honolulu/Hawaii
  • Bozeman, Montana
  • New Orleans

Allegiant Air

  • Mesa, Arizona
  • Kalispell, Montana
  • Pasco, Washington
  • Bozeman, Montana
  • Des Moines, Iowa

This list brings the total of nonstop routes up to 71, which is slightly more than pre-COVID times.