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Sunday before Thanksgiving was busiest air travel day since March

Sunday before Thanksgiving was busiest air travel day since March
© David Tran/iStock

Nearly 1.05 million passengers were screened at U.S. airports on Sunday, making it the busiest air travel day since the coronavirus pandemic hit in force.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it screened 1,047,934 people at security checkpoints nationwide on Sunday, the second time in three days that volumes at security checkpoints surpassed 1 million. On Friday, TSA screened 1,019,836 people.

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It was only the third time security checkpoints surpassed 1 million since March. The first was in October when TSA screened 1,031,505 people. Before that, the last time TSA screened more than 1 million passengers was on March 17.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning against traveling for Thanksgiving on Thursday as COVID-19 cases surge nationwide. But TSA Administrator David Pekoske stressed last week that the decision to travel is up to the traveler.

Pekoske predicted that the Wednesday and Sunday after Thanksgiving will be the busiest travel days over the holiday week.

TSA screened a record number of travelers during last year’s Thanksgiving travel period: more than 26 million passengers from Nov. 22 to Dec. 2.

AAA projected last month that there would be a 10 percent drop in Thanksgiving travel compared to 2019 levels, which would be the biggest one-year decline since the Great Recession in 2008.