Despite a second wave of COVID-19 cases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging Americans not to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, the Sunday after Turkey Day was the busiest airports have been since mid-March when the pandemic began altering everyday life in the United States.
According to a recent survey, and despite tightening COVID-19 restrictions in cities across the country, a larger percentage of people say they plan to travel for December holidays in the coming weeks. In fact, one in three Americans surveyed by The Vacationer said they plan to travel for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
The checkpoint data from the Transportation Security Administration tells us that 1.18 million travelers went through airport security screening on Nov. 29. That’s down from 2.88 million on the same day in 2019, but much higher than in the spring when, on some days, fewer than 100,000 people were screened. Road trip travel is harder to track. But an analysis from Arrivalist shows road trip travel over the Thanksgiving holiday was down 35 percent from last year.
Travelers walk through Terminal 3 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. … [+] Friday’s total of new cases is the next-to-lowest daily number in the past 12 days, but Illinois state officials are bracing for another surge after many people around the country traveled for Thanksgiving and celebrated with family and friends. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Of the 553 Americans queried for a recent survey published by The Vacationer, 33.46 said they planned to travel for Christmas compared to the 20.3 percent of those who said they had Thanksgiving travel plans.