By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4) – An increase in vaccinations and loosened travel guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resulted in busier airports and airspace in recent weeks. As Coloradans grow more comfortable with traveling amid the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines are adding additional flights to their schedules.

Nearly 1.6 million Americans took to the skies on April 18, 2021. A little more than 105,000 Americans flew on the same day in 2020.

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While the return of more passengers is promising news for those in and around the airline industry, many of whom were furloughed or laid off, others said they feared the return to travel was going too quickly.

“I’ve been on a bunch of flights,” said Ledoniea Nisbeth, a frequent traveler.

Nisbeth said the pandemic didn’t scare her from traveling. She flew from Colorado to destinations like New York, Maryland and even Jamaica.

“I don’t feel like I need to panic,” Nisbeth told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.

However, she said she wasn’t a fan of the flights growing more packed. As more people grow comfortable with flying, airlines are filling middle aircraft seats.

“Usually there is no person in the middle seat, but now every seat is full,” Nisbeth said. “It was uncomfortable.”

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Others, like Robbi Cunningham of Windsor, said they still didn’t feel overly comfortable with flying. She said she didn’t fly during the pandemic out of fear of contracting COVID-19.

However she decided to get on a flight to Boston after a family member needed help after a medical procedure.

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“I didn’t feel comfortable, necessarily,” Cunningham said.

She said she was fully vaccinated, and that was the largest contributing factor in her feeling somewhat safe flying.

“I was lucky enough to be fully vaccinated, so I took the risk,” Cunningham said.

Without the vaccine, Cunningham said she personally would’ve hesitated getting on an aircraft.

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“I would have had to think twice,” Cunningham said. “It was a full flight coming home today, which was a little unnerving. With the vaccination I felt pretty good.”

Dillon Thomas