Holiday travel is higher than pre-pandemic levels: Government

(NewsNation) — As reported by the Transportation Security Administration, the number of air passengers in 2023 surpassed those from the period before the pandemic. Over the past week, more than 17 million passengers were screened, marking a 4.9% increase from the same period last year and a 3.3% rise compared to pre-pandemic levels. Overall, the volume of travelers passing through US airport checkpoints has increased by 12.4% from last year and 1.4% from 2019. During the Thanksgiving holiday, travel figures exceeded those of 2019, reaching an all-time single-day record for the TSA of 2.9 million on Sunday, November. High levels of COVID-19 amidst holiday travel and emergence of new JN.1 variant. Last year, Dec. was the day with the highest activity. On the 29th, TSA inspected almost 353 million travelers. “We are ready to manage the high traffic of passengers this winter holiday season,” stated TSA administrator David Pekoske. The unbroken record of achievements accomplished by the TSA in this peak travel year is an outcome of concerted teamwork, strategic planning and professionalism exhibited across the board, ranging from our field workers to the staff working backstage. This also encompasses collaborations with airports and airline companies as well as the utilisation of advanced inspection technologies that not only enhance security measures but also amplify efficiency and passenger comfort. On the other hand, airlines have only canceled 1.2% of U.S. flights to date this year, marking the lowest rate in five years. As travel statistics increase, it appears that airfares are becoming more affordable. According to the most recent government data, average fares in October decreased by 13% compared to the same month in the previous year. Ticket sales for international arrivals to worldwide locations in December by airlines have seen a 31% increase.