Thanksgiving air travel hits pandemic high

·2 min read


A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration reported on Thursday that Thanksgiving air traffic had topped 2.3 million people the day prior, the highest since the "low point" of the pandemic.

"@TSA officers screened 2,311,978 people nationwide yesterday, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, making it the highest checkpoint volume since the low point of the pandemic, which was on April 13, 2020, when only 87,534 people were screened nationwide. #MaskUp," Lisa Farbstein, spokeswoman for the TSA, tweeted.

Americans this week ramped up their holiday travel ahead of Thanksgiving, fueled in most part by the wide availability of the COVID-19 vaccines.

A year ago, some Americans were tepid to board flights and trains to see loved ones as the U.S. grappled with a surge COVID-19 cases, and vaccines were not yet available for the generic public, let alone health officials.

But with three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use for Americans, including one for those aged as young as 5 years old who were given the green light by health agencies earlier this month, there has been an uptick in travelers.

The U.S., however, has started to see an increase in COVID-19 cases again after the country had only recently seen a decline of infections in October.

On Tuesday, the U.S. saw over 100,000 COVID-19 cases and over 159,000 the day prior, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A month prior on Oct. 23, the U.S. saw over 29,000 cases.

Roughly 70 percent of the U.S. population is at least partially vaccinated while 59 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated. About 19 percent of Americans have also received their booster shot, though that number is expected to increase given the CDC's recommendation to expand eligibility of booster shots to all American adults.