The U.S. saw more than 700,000 travelers several days over the long Fourth of July weekend, record highs in the new world of travel in coronavirus – but still down by more than 70% compared to the norm.
Travel in the U.S. and across the globe has plummeted, dropping by as much as 95% or more compared to last year as the world stays home to combat the spread of coronavirus. The TSA records how many travelers (plus airport and airline employees) pass through its security checkpoints each day, and it paints a jarring picture: While between 2 million and 2.8 million people typically move through U.S. airports each day, that dropped below 100,000 in early April for the first time in decades.
But it’s undeniable that travel is slowly resuming even as coronavirus case counts spike across the nation. And that includes new coronavirus highs set over the long holiday weekend.
More than 764,000 travelers moved through U.S. airports last Thursday ahead of the weekend – the highest number since March 18, and the first time in the 700,000s since the crisis began. That’s still down by more than 60%, but it’s a big improvement – especially compared to the record low of 87,000 in early April.
Look at this interactive graphic we put together comparing TSA travel data from 2020 to 2019.
Is this sustainable? Clearly, the appetite for travel has grown substantially over the last few weeks. But with the long holiday weekend behind us and coronavirus cases once again on the rise, will that change?