The TSA registered a new pandemic record despite dire health warnings.
U.S. air travel rose to the highest levels since the start of the coronavirus pandemic over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to data released Monday, despite U.S. health officials’ warnings against travel.
Close to 1.2 million people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at airports on Sunday, the most since March 16 shortly before the coronavirus lockdown began—but the numbers were still down about 60% from the nearly 2.9 million people TSA screened during Thanksgiving 2019.
Airlines had been banking on a spike in air travel over the holiday, but demand still remains a fraction of last year’s levels and industry executives said that ticket sales had slowed amid a spike in coronavirus infections and new warnings from health officials.
The likes of American and United offered some employees extra pay to handle the increase in demand, while Delta Air Lines canceled hundreds of flights because of a shortage of pilots, a problem the carrier said it has since resolved.
JetBlue Airways on Monday forecast its revenue would fall 70% in the fourth quarter compared with the same time last year, down from a previous forecast of a 65% drop.
“Booking trends remain volatile and the company continues to believe demand and revenue recovery will be non-linear through the fourth quarter and beyond,” the airline said in a securities filing.