The Transportation Security Administration screened slightly more than 1 million people at US airports. While that’s still only 40% of the volume screened on the Friday before Thanksgiving a year ago, it marks only the second time since mid-March that 1 million people have been screened in a day. The first time was on October 18.
The rush of travelers comes on a day that Johns Hopkins University reported a record 195,542 new US Covid-19 cases confirmed. And it comes the day after the CDC issued its warning against traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Even so, US airlines are bracing for their busiest week since the start of the pandemic. American Airlines said it will increase its schedule by about 15% during Thanksgiving week, compared to the rest of November, from a daily average of 3,500 flights to more than 4,000 flights.
The airline industry is neither encouraging nor discouraging holiday travel, the head of the industry’s trade group said Thursday.
“Do we want to see them travel? Yes, but only if it’s safe for them,” said Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America. “There’s a variety of factors involved in that for each individual traveler.”