LAURIE BARATTI | TravelPulse.Com
Troy Warren for CNT
U.S. air travel is continuing to set new records and surpass pre-pandemic levels this 4th of July weekend, with Americans apparently ready to leave the long months of COVID-19 lockdowns behind them.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today reported that a nationwide total of 2,196,411 people were screened by airport security on Friday. That number represents not only the highest checkpoint volume for U.S. airports seen since the start of the pandemic, but also exceeds passenger throughput counts for the same day in 2019.
The new record also builds upon the previous day’s pandemic-era record, which marked the first day that TSA passenger counts at airports had surpassed those recorded on the same day in 2019.
ABC News reported that travel-booking app Hopper forecast Friday to be the busiest departure day for travelers taking advantage of the long weekend, and also anticipated that Monday would prove to be the busiest day for return travel.
AAA forecast that more than 47.7 million Americans would be traveling over the 4th of July holiday period, which would result in the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record, trailing only 2019.
AAA’s study suggested that 3.5 million people were planning to fly to their destinations, representing a 164-percent increase over last year’s 4th of July travel period and 90 percent of pre-pandemic air passenger levels.
Unfortunately, Mother Nature has proven uncooperative in certain parts of the country, with severe thunderstorms continuing to cause flight delays and cancellations in northern Texas yesterday.
Based on data from flight-tracking website Flight Aware, Dallas’ WFAA reportedthat by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport had been forced to cancel 135 flights and delay another 458 due to the hostile weather conditions. WFAA said those numbers were the highest numbers of any world airport at that time.
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