MIAMI – San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has recorded a 75% plunge in passenger traffic during the weekend before Thanksgiving. According to SFO Duty Manager Russell Mackey, the downtrend is still the “busiest time period” since the pandemic began, with 615 scheduled flights per day due to the upcoming holiday.

In addition, the Transportation Security Administration reported last Friday more than 1 million passengers passing through US airport security screening. The numbers show the second-highest figure since mid-March.

ABC7 News reported that less than 60,000 people passed through SFO’s checkpoints from this Friday through Sunday. This represents a drop of 240,000 travelers compared to the same period last year.

United Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft at San Francisco International Airport. Photo: © Raimond Spekking.

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So far, various airlines have announced an increase in their offering during the Holidays. JetBlue (B6) launched additional flights from New York (JFK) to SFO as part of a major boost strategy. On its part, United Airlines (UA) has added 47 flights and 6,600 additional seats at SFO for an increase of 1,400 domestic flights.

According to a UA spokesperson, the numbers represent about 14% more capacity for the airline at the airport. As such, UA expects to record, at least, half of the passenger traffic that it saw during Thanksgiving week in 2019.

Regardless of the uptick of flights at SFO, COVID-19 is still a reality. In California, Cases have reached 13,000 per day. As a result, the US government and health officials have advised Americans not to travel to Bay Area airports for Thanksgiving. For now, we will have to wait for the week to pass and see how the holidays turned out for SFO and its airlines.


International Terminal of San Francisco International Airport. Photo: Constantine Kulikovsky.

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