Only 750K People per Day Are Flying in 2021
Travel demand has yet to see a big jump, even as the Covid-19 vaccine started rolling out. In fact in February we saw a new low in over half a year, in the number of passengers going through TSA checkpoints. On February 2, 2021, only 493,338 people went through TSA checkpoints. That is the lowest number since back on July 4, 2020, such TSA counted 466,669 travelers. Compared to the same day in 2020, that is a 70% decline in passengers.
The new year has been slow for air travel, after spikes in the number of passengers during the holidays. So far this year has averaged 754,134 passengers per day. The same period in 2020 averaged 2,002,721 passengers per day and 2019 was slightly lower at 1,909,770. The 2020 numbers were still pre-pandemic. The sharp drop in travel demand came mid-March and the lowest numbers were recorded on April 14 when only 87,534 people passed through TSA checkpoints. That figure includes airlines employees.
On the positive end, the best day for air travel during the pandemic also came early in 2021. On January 3rd TSA counted a total of 1,327,289 passengers.
Those who travel now must wear face masks as per a federal mandate that went into effect on February 1st. The order applies to airplanes, trains, buses and other public transportation as the U.S. seeks to contain the spread of COVID-19. This comes after President Biden issued an executive order Jan. 21 directing federal agencies to “immediately take action” to mandate masks for all means of transportation. It also includes bus terminals, airports, train stations and subway stops as well as in taxis and ride-share vehicles.