Travelers packed planes and airports over the weekend as the spring break travel surge continued.
The Transportation Security Administration screened 1,543,115 travelers at U.S. airports Sunday, its busiest day since March 13, 2020, the day the U.S. declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency. The numbers are a stark contrast from the same date in 2020, when the agency screened only 548,132 but still not up to pre-pandemic levels; the TSA screened 2,227,181 the same date in 2019.
The agency has now had 11 consecutive days of 1-million-plus travelers screened as air travel ticks back up. Traveler screening totals fell below 90,000 in April 2020 in the early days of the pandemic and didn’t top 1 million again until October.
Now more American travelers are boarding planes as COVID-19 vaccines roll out and case counts decline or plateau across the country.
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Passengers packed planes during the Thanksgiving and year-end holiday rushes despite advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid travel and are now doing so in greater numbers for spring break, though the CDC advice to avoid nonessential travel is still in place – even for people who have been vaccinated.
And some spring break travel destinations such as Miami Beach, Florida, are struggling to control crowds. Miami Beach declared a state of emergency in its entertainment district Saturday with a curfew in effect at 8 p.m. because of spring breakers who have inundated the city.
Contributing: Morgan Hines, Dawn Gilbertson
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