November 25, 2021 20:43 PM
Airports and commercial airlines across the United States ushered in one of the busiest days since the epidemic on Wednesday. Millions of Americans took advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to visit relatives and friends.
Usually the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest day for travel. However, working from home this year has allowed many people to make arrangements in advance and travel off-peak.
However, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) still advises passengers to arrive at the airport early to allow more time for security checks.
Cirium’s data shows that American Airlines has also increased its capacity because demand is expected to increase on the eve of Thanksgiving.
TSA predicts that the air passenger flow during Thanksgiving will reach about 20 million, the highest since 2019, when the number of domestic passengers was close to 26 million. Approximately 2.21 million U.S. air passengers passed security checks on Tuesday, marking the sixth consecutive day that the number of passengers through security checks exceeded 2 million.
TSA spokesperson Lorie Dankers said the agency has hired 6,000 new employees this year so that it can have enough staff to cope with the increase in passengers.
Forecasting stable weather conditions during Thanksgiving should also help prevent passenger transportation from being disrupted.
The National Railway Passenger Transport Company (Amtrak) also expects the number of passengers to soar. A company spokesperson said that some trains are nearly full.
Tourism group AAA estimates that a total of 53.4 million people will travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, an increase of 13% over 2020, and air travel will return to about 91% of pre-epidemic levels.