Photo: Helwing Villamizar/Airways

MIAMI – Despite the CDC’s recommendation against traveling this Thanksgiving holiday weekend due to COVID-19, the TSA on Wednesday screened a record number of passengers since the pandemic began.

Since last Friday, TSA.gov notes that it has screened five million people at U.S. airports. And while there were multiple days where over one million people were screened during that period, only one other day since March, October 18, has seen that mark equaled.

On most days over the past two months, TSA has screened approximately one-third the number of passengers screened on the same day in 2019.

Information from TSA.gov

TSA Information Analysis


The information provided by the TSA shows some changes in travel patterns this year. Typically, due to work schedules, flyers leave on days close to the holiday with Thanksgiving Eve being the busiest travel day of the year. However, with flexible schedules and remote work, it appears as though travelers took advantage and departed earlier.

Both the Friday and Sunday before Thanksgiving reported over one million travelers screened. But those numbers are still less than one-half of the numbers screened in 2019.

So despite the high-ish numbers, it does appear as though a large share of the population is heeding the CDC’s advice and staying home. Although it also seems safe to assume that with high unemployment, many who might want to travel simply are not able to afford to do so at this time.


Featured image: TPA on Wednesday November 25, 2020. Photo: Helen Palma

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