SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KPIX) – Travelers trying to exit San Francisco International Airport on Sunday faced more challenges related to COVID-19 at the end of the holiday weekend: airline cancellations and limited test availability.
“My flight tomorrow is at 6 a.m. and it will be closed until 8 a.m.,” said Jordan Simon, queuing to take a COVID test at the SFO. “I think it’s a terrible line, I think it’s a terrible line for sure. From above it says if you’re here it’s a three hour wait. So it’s like a five o’clock line.
Simon showed up the day before his flight to Southeast Asia because he wasn’t sure he would be able to pass a test before his flight on Monday. The airport offers walk-in testing at the international terminal, but warned some people in the afternoon that they could not take a test until the end of the day.
“It’s stressful, absolutely stressful. We’re just trying to take it as it comes and that’s all you can do, ”said Sandra Brown, who is scheduled to travel to Vancouver, Canada with her family on Sunday. “We already had to re-book once today because our flight was canceled so I’m not sure what the availability would be to re-book for tomorrow because it’s just a cascading save of delays.”
The testing requirements affected the entire family at the airport, even those young enough to avoid the requirement waited while loved ones tried to get their COVID-19 result.
“I’m waiting for my mom to take a COVID test just like my dad and my sister and it’s pretty hard to wait three hours,” Adhi Esturi said. “I really want to go to France but sometimes I think it’s not worth it.
Others traveling to international destinations on Sunday said they tried to take a test ahead of time only to learn their result was not valid and needed another test at the airport .
Passengers who were waiting for the chance to get tested said they were already prepared to have their trip delayed again if they didn’t arrive on time. It was not worth it for some of these passengers. For others, it was the price to pay for being with family this holiday season.
“I’m going to have to re-book, I guess, I don’t know. We’ll have to figure it out, ”Sandra Brown told KPIX.
At the domestic terminals it was much quieter without a lot of lines. Airlines canceled hundreds of flights across the country on Sunday, which once again impacted travelers around Christmas, as the Omicron variant forced employees to miss shifts. Downsized flights prevented planes from taking off on time for several days last week. There were only a handful of cancellations listed at the OFS on Sunday.