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The U.S. screened 2.49 million flyers Sunday, highest daily mark since February 2020

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On Sunday, the Transportation Security Administration screened 2,494,757 passengers, the highest number of travelers since Feb. 11, 2020.

On that date, 2,507,588 travelers went through TSA checkpoints. Sunday’s travel load eclipsed the previous high mark in 2022, set on July 1, when 2,490,490 passengers were screened, the federal agency said in a statement.

On Monday, the number of passengers screened dropped to 2,357,405.

The airline industry is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, which emptied planes and set passenger loads plummeting.

As of early October, the number of flights flown by major carriers is still down 14% compared to before the pandemic, while the number of passengers is down around 7%, according to airline lobbying and trade association Airlines for America.

Despite the effects of COVID-19 in enclosed, crowded spaces, carriers have moved away from smaller airplanes and towards planes with more seats onboard. 

In 2019, 34% of departing planes had 150 or more seats, with 21% having 50 or fewer. By 2022, that had changed to 43% of departures with 150 or more seats, and only 14% having 50 or fewer, according to Airlines for America.



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