Despite CDC warnings, millions of people flew over the holidays
The Transportation Security Administration screened about 40 percent fewer passengers over the 2020 holiday season compared to the previous year, but it was still far more than the agency anticipated.
According to the TSA, nearly 18 million people were screened for flights over the holidays. The last day of the travel period, Jan. 3, marked the highest checkpoint volume since the onset of the pandemic with 1,327,289 people being screened.
AAA had predicted only 2.94 million would travel by air throughout the whole period, between Dec. 24 and Jan. 3.
Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci worried that Christmas would be even worse than Thanksgiving in terms of potentially spreading the coronavirus. The U.S. has reported a significant increase in cases after each holiday throughout the pandemic.
TSA said on Monday it "anticipates daily travel volumes will continue to rise steadily and follow seasonal patterns" but it "expects volume will remain well below pre-pandemic levels through most of 2021."
Overall, 500 million fewer passengers were screened in 2020 compared to 2019, roughly a 60-percent drop.