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U.S. Air Passengers Break Pandemic Record; Over 1.5 Million Travel on a Single Day

U.S. Air Passengers Break Pandemic Record; Over 1.5 Million Travel on a Single Day

a group of people wearing face masks walking with luggage

The number of U.S. air passengers soared to new pandemic highs over the weekend as several states ease lockdown restrictions and a mass vaccination drive continues at pace. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it screened 1.54 million air travelers at airport security checkpoints across the United States on Sunday.

The number of air travelers is the highest since March 2020 when the first wave of lockdown restrictions sent passenger numbers into free fall. Compared to the same day in 2020, the TSA screened over 280 percent more travelers on Sunday. Passenger traffic hit nearly 70 percent of the numbers screened on the same day in 2019.

The TSA has reported screening more than 1 million a day for the last eleven days in a row as consumer demand for air travel continues to recover. The chief executives of some of the biggest U.S. airlines say booking trends are continuing to improve with the recovery led by leisure travelers.

With demand going up, analysts now also expect ticket prices to follow suit as airlines welcome back travelers who haven’t flown anywhere in many months. Capacity on some American Airlines flights out of New York City are said to be regularly topping 90 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, still advises against non-essential air travel and is urging Americans to delay travel for the timebeing. The advice remains the same even for Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Airlines have been partially blamed for chaotic and crowded scenes in Miami Beach that led to the local authorities imposing a three-day curfew to dissuade rowdy Spring Break visitors ignoring social distancing the pandemic prevention measures.

Photo Credit: Ringo Chiu /

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