March 7, 2021

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DSA data show that US air travel peaked in the day before Christmas, post-March

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised Americans Stay home this holiday season. But the day before Christmas Eve, more than 1.1 million people boarded planes – more than in March Data compiled by the Traffic Safety Administration.

DSA data showed Wednesday that 1,191,123 passengers had passed through airport checkpoints across the country, and since March 16, more than 1.2 million people have boarded flights since the corona virus was first caught in the United States.

Recent trend lines suggest that some Americans are not following the CDC advice. According to agency data, between Friday and Sunday, 3.2 million people boarded flights together – more than 1 million a day.

“If you choose to travel this holiday, please wear a mask,” DSA spokeswoman Lisa Farfstein announced in a tweet about the apparent rise in epidemic-era air travel.

Overall, air travel is lower than in previous years. On the eve of Christmas Eve last year, for example, the DSA reported that 2 million people – 1,937,235 – had crossed airport checkpoints.

The recent rise in the number of passengers echoes a similar increase around Thanksgiving. The day before the holiday, 1,070,967 people passed through DSA checkpoints. That was part of an increase in travel during the seven days of Thanksgiving, which sent more than 6.8 million people to airports.

Passengers wear masks as they pass through the southern security checkpoint at the main terminal of Denver International Airport on Tuesday.David Salubowski / A.P.

In recent weeks, the CDC has encouraged Americans to reconsider their vacation plans, highlighting the health risks of taking on business transportation and associating with groups outside of their immediate families.

“Travel may increase your chances of spreading and receiving Govt-19.” The CDC says in a statement on its website. “The CDC recommends continuing to postpone travel and stay home because this is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.”

The AAA said this month expects most Americans to stay home instead of traveling on holidays.

In a news release on December 15th, The AAA is expected to be able to carry 84.5 million Americans from December 23 to January 3 – at least 29 percent less than last year.