The Transportation Security Administration screened just over 1 million people at U.S. airports. Although it is still only 40% of the volume shown Friday before Thanksgiving a year ago, it marks only the second time since mid-March that 1 million people have been screened in one day. The first time was on October 18th.
The hustle and bustle of travelers comes on a day when Johns Hopkins University reported a record 195,542 new U.S. Covid-19 cases confirmed. And it comes the day after the CDC issued its warning against traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Yet U.S. airlines are holding up for their busiest week since the start of the pandemic. American Airlines said it will increase its schedule by approx. 15% in Thanksgiving week compared to the rest of November from a daily average of 3,500 flights to more than 4,000 flights.
The aviation industry neither encourages nor discourages holiday travel, the leader of the industry’s trade group said on Thursday.
“Will we see them travel? Yes, but only if it’s safe for them,” said Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America. “There are a number of factors involved in it for every single traveler.”