Day Before Christmas Eve Saw Largest Number of Airplane Travelers in Single Day Since March

More than 1.1 million people boarded airplanes on Dec. 23, according to TSA data

Holiday travelers
Photo: Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty

With the holiday travel rush is in full swing, airports recorded the greatest number of travelers to board airplanes in a single day since March.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, more than 1.1 million people were screened at airports on Wednesday, the day before Christmas Eve. A daily tally from the TSA shows that officials screened 1,191,123 people nationwide Thursday, the largest number of people to fly since March 16, when 1,257,823 people were screened, TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein announced.

"If you choose to travel this holiday, please wear a mask," Farbstein added.

While this marks the highest checkpoint volume in more than nine months, air travel still remains lower than in previous years.

On Dec. 23 last year, officials screened a total of 1,937,235 people, according to TSA data.

Over the weekend, U.S. air travel hit another record as TSA reported checkpoint travel numbers over 1 million on consecutive days since March, USA Today reported. A daily tally from the TSA shows that officials screened 1,064,619 people on Sunday, 1,073,563 on Saturday and 1,066,747 on Friday.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines for how to celebrate the holidays this year, urging everyone to avoid traveling and to instead only "celebrate at home with the people who live with you."

Delta plane
Delta airplane. Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

These guidelines are similar to the ones put out by the CDC for Thanksgiving.

"Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year," the CDC stated.

The organization also adds that, should traveling be necessary, "testing can help you do so more safely."

With the U.S. experiencing record-number cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations, Dr. Anthony Fauci also pleaded for Americans to take the necessary precautions during the holidays.

“Stay at home as much as you can, keep your interactions to the extent possible to members of the same household," he said. "This cannot be business as usual this Christmas because we're already in a very difficult situation, and we're going to make it worse if we don't do something about it."

As of Thursday, there have been more than 18.6 million cases of the coronavirus in the United States and at least 327,993 deaths, according to data from The New York Times.

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