More than a million Americans traveled via plane on the day before Thanksgiving — the highest number since the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in March, new statistics show.
Figures released by the Transportation Security Administration show that 1,070,967 travelers went through US screening checkpoints Wednesday, down from 2,624,250 in 2019.
The one-day total is the highest recorded by the TSA since March 16, but still a 59 percent decrease from last year.
Public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had urged people to scrap their Turkey Day travel plans due to rising infection rates across the country.
The TSA also screened more than 1 million passengers on Sunday and Friday. Prior to that, the last time the agency eclipsed that mark was on Oct. 18, when 1,031,505 went through airports, statistics show.
In total, almost 6 million passengers were screened at airports from Friday through Wednesday, TSA data shows.
A forecast by AAA and HIS Markit predicted earlier this month that Thanksgiving travel would be on the “lighter side,” with 50 million Americans expected to hit the roads and get on planes — or at least a 10-percent drop overall, marking the largest one-year decline since 2008.
Ninety-five percent of those trips, however, were expected to be by car, the forecast showed.
Fifty-five million Americans traveled by plane or car last year, AAA figures show.