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Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve written several times about the daily number of passengers transiting domestically though TSA check points and compared the numbers to the daily amount of passengers that were traveling domestically the previous year (2019).
In mid April we saw the number of daily passengers passing through TSA check points bottom out at ~87,534 passengers in a single day. However, we have seen a steady increase week after week despite increasing COVID cases throughout the United States.
Given the increase in cases domestically, college campuses shuttering, and US states returning to previous restriction levels. Would this affect the number of flying passengers?
THE REAL NUMBERS
TSA’s Public Affairs spokesperson, Lisa Farbstein, updates her Twitter account (@tsamedia_lisaf) every day with a lot of interesting articles and data. But perhaps the most interesting data she shares is on how many people are passing through TSA checkpoints.
Note: TSA also updates these numbers on their website every morning at 9AM. If you don’t have twitter, you can see the numbers HERE.
In addition to the current daily numbers, she provides a comparison of how many people passed through TSA checkpoints during the same date the previous year.
On Friday, an astounding 968,673 passengers transited through TSA checkpoints.
|Date||2020||2019||% of passengers|
flying (2020 vs 2019)
Surprisingly (at least to me), the number of passengers doubled within a 3 days. On September 1, 2020, only 516,068 passengers transited through TSA check points which leads me to wonder if TSA was ready for the increase of passengers?
Generally, the lines at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport are long even when TSA knows hundreds of thousands of passengers will transit security daily. Given 6 feet of separation, I can’t imagine the crowds or length of the lines this past Friday.
Although ~1,000,000 is far below the number of passengers airlines were seeing a year ago, that is a significant increase from the ~87,000 passengers that we were seeing only a few months ago.
Personally, I find these numbers fascinating particularly because cases of COVID-19 are still increasing daily. Which makes again ask, how are you determining when it’s the right time to travel?
Are you surprised by these numbers? Do you feel it’s “safe” to travel? Have you flown recently or plan to fly again soon?