Holiday travelers are driving up demand for COVID-19 testing

AAA expects to see congestion during this holiday period that we haven't seen over the last two years.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- People are on a mission searching for COVID-19 tests before seeing family.

With the holiday travel rush approaching, it's only getting more difficult to find COVID-19 tests.

Travelers at the Philadelphia International Airport say they are sticking to their travel plans. They're just trying to be more cautious.
AAA is projecting roughly 109 million Americans to travel for the holidays. That is up about 34% from last year, and is close to pre-pandemic travel.

"There's definitely this pent-up demand to travel. Americans are ready to travel again," said AAA spokeswoman Jana Tidwell.

While people are hitting the roads or the airways, the CDC says demand for every type of COVID-19 test is skyrocketing.

Some pharmacies are even limiting the number of testing kits per customer, which is only making things more difficult for those traveling.



"It was kind of complicated the first couple of days because a lot of people are only taking appointments, but here was the only place actually doing walk-ins," said Southwest Philly resident Hope Prince, who's traveling to the Bahamas.

Philadelphia International Airport is offering testing on site for passengers only. The site is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., inside terminal E. The convenience comes at a cost, with tests ranging from $70 to $249.99, but travelers say it's worth it.

One traveler tried to get tested at a handful of places before coming to the airport, but lucked out and had to pay.
"I decided to come here and pay the money to get tested professionally," explained Southwest Philly resident Jonah Wamah.

Travel volume is expected to increase on December 23, according to AAA. Some families at PHL who are traveling domestically where a COVID test is not required are getting tested regardless.

"Getting tested when we get there and everything trying to do what we can to make everyone feel comfortable and keep everyone safe," said Steve Tsao, who is traveling to Los Angeles with family.

AAA expects to see congestion during this holiday period that we haven't seen over the last two years.

Medical experts suggest getting tested right before meeting up with people for the holidays, and if you want to be extra safe they suggest testing every single day if you can.

If you are traveling to or from the Philadelphia International Airport and would like to utilize their testing center, you can find more information about it online.
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.