Another pandemic record: TSA screened 1.3 million travelers Sunday as holiday travelers headed home

More than 1.3 million travelers passed through the nation’s airports on Sunday, a new pandemic travel record as passengers headed from the holidays.

The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 1,327,289 people, besting the previous high of 1,284,599, set a week earlier on the Sunday after Christmas.

Those numbers are still down significantly from a year ago, but the the holiday travel season has been stronger than expected given the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions advice to stay home during the year end holidays, a repeat of advice during Thanksgiving.

Passenger counts topped 1 million on 11 days beginning the Saturday before Christmas. During one stretch, there were five consecutive days of 1 million+ screened travelers.

The number of passengers screened fell below 100,000 in April. Numbers have climbed steadily since but didn’t top 1 million until mid-October before retreating prior to the Thanksgiving and Christmas rush. 

In 2019, the TSA screened as many as 2.6 million travelers a day during Christmas and New Year’s.

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