The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened almost 2.24 million passengers, on Friday. This is the highest number since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in March 2020. The TSA said that it was expecting to see a rise in screening as the Thanksgiving weekend was approaching. According to its estimate, approximately 20 million passengers are expected to travel by air during the Thanksgiving holiday period, from November 19 to November 28.
TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein posted on Twitter announcing that the number of screenings were “the highest checkpoint value” since the pandemic halted or decreased travel in the nation.
The AAA had predicted that the Thanksgiving travel will reach close to pre-pandemic levels. About 53.4 million Americans are expected to travel in the holiday period. This is a 13 percent increase when compared with the previous year. Mask wearing and social distancing are common in airports and all airlines require passengers to keep their masks on during flights. Many passengers are vaccinated and this also gives them an impetus to fly across the nation to meet family.
Major airlines in the country have said that they are expecting to fly a larger number of passengers in the holiday weekend.
Delta Air Lines
The airlines has said that it was planning to fly 5.6 million passengers from Friday to November 30. This is almost 300 percent higher than its passengers in 2020 but is also less than the 6.3 million passengers who flew Delta in 2019.
The airlines said that 4.5 million passengers would use its services as they fly across the nation. They say that they will reach 88 percent of the number of passengers who flew United in 2019.
The airlines are confident of flying millions of passengers but there are two factors that can put a damper on the flights: vaccine mandate and the weather.
A vaccine mandate for federal workers is set to begin on Monday. The TSA said that it doesn’t expect the mandate to have an impact as preparations to deal with the matter have been put into operation.
The weather is beyond control but the airlines say that they are prepared for all calamities. Every holiday season there is some chaos at the airports. Everyone is hoping that things would be busy but that there would be no chaos.