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As July 4 is coming up, millions of Americans are packing up for an Independence Day getaway. After celebrations were subdued by the pandemic in 2020, 47 million Americans are expected to take a trip this weekend, according to AAA’s Independence Day travel forecast.
U.S. airports and airlines are also bracing for what is going to be the busiest weekend since the pandemic hit, with AAA expecting 3.5 million Americans to take to the skies. As the following chart, based on TSA data, shows, passenger throughput at U.S. airports has been climbing steeply in recent weeks, with TSA safety checks exceeding two million in a single day for the first time since March 2020 on June 11.
Prior to the pandemic, daily passenger volumes of 2+ million were the norm rather than the exception, with the average number of safety checks performed in 2019 standing at 2.3 million per day. At the onset of the pandemic, daily passenger throughput fell as low as 100,000 in April 2020, before slowly climbing back to what is now approaching cruising altitude.
This chart shows the seven-day average of travelers passing through TSA checkpoints at U.S. airports.