Air travel volume reaches highest level since November 2021

FOX Business Headlines 2/22

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Air travel is seemingly picking up, with the number of people screened at airport security checkpoints nationwide last week surpassing the highs of the Christmas holiday season.

On Friday, over 2.2 million people were screened at airport security checkpoints nationwide, according to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein.  

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This marked the highest checkpoint volume since the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28. That Sunday broke a pandemic record with more than 2.4 million individuals screened at airports nationwide on a single day, Farbstein said, citing TSA checkpoint data.   

This means Friday's travel volume surpassed the amount seen at airports through the holiday week spanning from Christmas to New Year's, which was projected to near pre-pandemic volumes. The TSA had expected to see an influx of travelers, even despite the ongoing pandemic, after 20.9 million passengers were screened at airport security checkpoints nationwide during the 10-day Thanksgiving travel period, which is 89% of pre-pandemic levels. 

The typical buzzing December travel season was snarled by a wave of omicron infections leading to employees calling out sick as well as disruptions due to cold weather and heavy snowstorms. The slew of issues forced major airlines to cancel thousands of flights starting around Christmas Eve.

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Although travel volume continues to fluctuate, the TSA reported Sunday that the daily average of people screened over the previous seven days was currently 1,818,348, which was up from the previous week when the daily average was 1,603,908.

In all of January, more than 46 million passengers were screened at airports nationwide, the TSA reported. 

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