Holiday travelers have Bay Area airports slightly busier than usual, still below pre-pandemic levels

At San Francisco International Airport Friday, there wasn't exactly a stampede of passengers coming or going, but SFO says it is busier than a typical weekend.

One passenger was part of a group headed to a birthday party in Southern California.

That party is among the 120,000 passengers for as expecting here over Labor Day weekend.

That's about three times the number of passengers last year, but still about half of what it was pre-COVID-19. 

Oakland and Minetta San Jose airports report similar numbers.

But COVID-19 is still top of mind.

"It's concerning. We have to be safe and vigilant. Not let your guard down and still live our lives," said passenger Sarah Rogan.

With wildfires at Lake Tahoe, flooding on the east coast, and the Delta variant everywhere, the decision to take a holiday getaway perhaps took on more soul searching than usual.

"I'm very concerned and will quarantine when we get home for a while," said Diane Ward who was flying to Minneapolis.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is asking people who are unvaccinated for COVID-19 not to travel during the holiday. It also said the fully vaccinated can travel but advised taking precautions such as wearing a mask. 

UC San Francisco infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said he's almost certain what to expect with COVID-19 cases days from now, after everyone returns from their travels.

"The question is not whether or not we will see a bump. The question is by how much. And how much depends upon each of our own behaviors," he said.