While many airlines are reporting a decrease in bookings as the delta variant causes a surge in COVID-19 cases, it appears travelers are getting in a final gasp of summer over this Labor Day holiday weekend.
According to screenings reported by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), air travel – which is generally considered to be back to about 70-75 percent of what it was two years ago – drew within 90 percent of 2019 passenger numbers.
On Thursday, September 2, 1,896,846 people passed through security – 90 percent compared to the 2,109,858 in 2019.
On Friday, September 3, 2,129,999 people were screened, a whopping 96 percent of what it was on the same date in 2019.
And on Saturday, September 4, it was still at 88 percent compared to 2019 levels, or 1,545,955 passengers this year vs. 1,755,502 two years ago.
Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, with temperatures starting to fall a bit and kids either back in school or heading back this coming week. For those reasons alone travel usually gets a boost as a sort of last hurrah.
But air travel saw a noticeable dip in numbers starting in mid-August over public fears that the coronavirus was prevalent as it was last year.
But according to one survey, 51 million people said they would travel for Labor Day.
And, a spokesman for AAA previously said that “As summer comes to a close, travel volumes around Labor Day are expected to remain high.”
We shall see how the next few days play out.