DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – AAA reports air travel for Christmas is estimated to nearly triple this year compared to 2020. Passengers at Dayton International Airport said their travel experience was mostly positive, many excited to spend their Christmas visiting family.

“I’m here because my family lives here in Greenville, Ohio and I’m here to visit them for the holidays,” Connie Cozzini from Florida said.

“I’m in Dayton, Ohio, it’s my first time in Ohio to see my girlfriend,” Kelvin Burstin from North Carolina said.

AAA estimates around 6.4 million people will travel by plane between December 23 and January 2. In 2020, only 2.3 million people traveled by plane.

AAA reports this year people are feeling more comfortable traveling, with the vaccine available, many are feeling safer and more protected and want to visit their family and friends.

Passengers arriving in Dayton on Christmas Eve said they weren’t worried about COVID-19.

“Not at all, there was not one cough or one sneeze on the plane,” Cozzini said.

As air travel increases nationally, the Dayton International Airport is experiencing a similar trend.

The latest passenger data from the Dayton International Airport shows in November 50,942 people boarded a plane at the airport, more than double the amount from November 2020, which was 24,762 people.

Even with increasing passenger numbers, one traveler said she didn’t notice the crowd Friday.

“The flight was great, everything went very smoothly, everyone was very friendly, it’s for the holidays,” Ashley Ebeling from Florida said. “I was worried it was going to be really crowded because it is a holiday, but it was actually not too bad.”

From January through November, the Dayton International Airport reports a more than 50% increase in passengers compared to 2020.