At the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport there’s no more long lines at the ticket counters, kiosks, or baggage claim. Parking lots that used to house hundreds of cars now look like a ghost town.
“It’s pretty crazy, I’ve never seen an empty airport like this,” Ben Cox said.
Typically, thousands of people shuffled through the airport, especially on Easter weekend. But now flights are being cancelled or consolidated
“To see on the board two of four flights cancelled it’s pretty shocking, it’s a very new world right now,” Elisabeth Grant-Gibson said.
Officials with the Baton Rouge airport say most flights are getting slashed due to low demand.
In fact, they say before the COVID-19 outbreak, the airport would usually see over a thousand people a day. Now they’re lucky if they get 100.
“I’ve been here a couple times in the last few years and its always packed,” Cox said. “There’s nobody here today.”
Officials say overall local air travel is down about 90%. National travel is down 97%.
“I think it’s going to take us quite a while to come back to anything before its normal,” Grant-Gibson said.
Another big change is cleanliness.
“There’s hand sanitizer stations set up everywhere, it’s pretty crazy,” Cox said.
Everywhere you turn there’s an area for folks to sanitize their hands. Janitorial staff frequently wiping down surfaces as well.
It’s been a month since the pandemic started and residents say they can’t wait for it to be over