(CNN) – Thanksgiving travelers set a new pandemic-era air travel record in the United States.
The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 2.3 million people (2,311,978) at airports across the country on Wednesday, making it the busiest day at security checkpoints since March 2020.
The number is 88% of the traffic (2,624,250) on Wednesday equivalent in 2019, before the pandemic. And that’s more than double the number of people (1,070,967) tested by TSA that day last year.
Wednesday is the seventh day in a row that the TSA has screened more than 2 million passengers.
Objective: Safe and secure
People line up to go through the TSA checkpoint at Miami International Airport in Florida on November 24.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
TSA chief David Pekoske told CNN ahead of the vacation that the agency was prepared for the increased number of trips.
“We’ve looked at the passenger volume projections, we’ve worked with the carriers and with the airports, and collectively we’re ready for the Thanksgiving vacation,” he said. “Our goal is to make it as safe and secure and as pleasant as possible for people.”
AAA predicted that 53.4 million Americans would travel on vacation, including millions by air. Pekoske warned travelers to “just be patient” when traveling, especially because some people have traveled little or no travel since the start of the pandemic.
The Federal Aviation Administration has received more than 5,300 cases, initiated more than 1,000 of its own investigations and imposed fines of $ 1.6 million.
But some aviation groups have called on prosecutors to intervene because the Justice Department lacks the power to prosecute criminal charges. The FAA said it referred 37 cases to the DOJ.
Covid Safety Tips for Flying This Holiday Season
Try to eat your meal on a long flight after the others have finished and put on their masks.
With what is already proving to be a busy holiday flight season, you might be understandably nervous about Covid-19. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and your family and reduce stress during the flight:
Fly outside opening hours and on less busy days
If you can travel to and from your destination on less busy travel days, you and your family will meet fewer people and may be able to do more with social distancing, said Linsey Marr, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech.
Reserve window seats
Experts suggest reserving window seats for children (or adults) who are not vaccinated, in part because of the air vents along the interior panels of most planes.
Delay your meal
You can also protect yourself by eating when everyone is masked, suggested Marr.
“When they come and serve drinks and snacks I take it but I don’t eat them right away because that’s when everyone took off their masks,” she said. .