Close to 1.1 Million People Traveled by Plane the Day Before Thanksgiving

thanksgiving air travel numbers

Close to 1.1 Million People Traveled by Plane the Day Before Thanksgiving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials told Americans to stay home for Thanksgiving and avoid traveling. But despite those warnings, more people in the U.S. boarded planes on the day before Thanksgiving than any day since March. Air travel has seen a boost in recent weeks, which comes during a significant surge of Covid-19 cases in the country.

The Transportation Security Administration says that a total of 1,070,967 people crossed TSA checkpoints Wednesday, November 25th. That is the highest one day total since back in March 16th, when 1,257,823 passed through. But even with this new high in air travel numbers, it remains well behind the pace of 2019. It’s just about 41% of the 2,624,250 that traveled on the same weekday last year.

On Thanksgiving Day, air travel was way down as expected. Just 560,902 passed through TSA checkpoints. That’s just 35% of the 1,591,158 that flew on the same day back in 2019.

CNBC also reports that there were more airplanes in the skies at noon Eastern the Tuesday before Thanksgiving than there were on the same Tuesday in 2018. It was also close to the 2019 numbers, just 8% less. That means that planes are now less crowded, which is a good thing for passengers but not for airlines.

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