Travelers are set to top pre-pandemic flight levels this Thanksgiving holiday as many families are looking to get together in-person after staying home last year.
According to Adobe Digital Insights, Thanksgiving flight bookings--trips landing between Nov. 20 and Nov. 25--are up 78% compared to 2020, and 3.2% higher than the same period in 2019, or before the pandemic began. Adobe added that historically, most Thanksgiving plane tickets are purchased by the first week of November.
"After a year where many were unable to see their friends and families for Thanksgiving, we are expecting busy airports this month," said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights, in a blog post. "The holiday uptick is also driving up prices online, and consumers should start thinking about Christmas travel pretty soon."
Moreover, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) expects to screen about 20 million passengers between Nov. 19 and Nov. 28, which is comparable to 2019 levels. Typically, the busiest days during the Thanksgiving travel period are the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the holiday and the Sunday afterward, according to the TSA.
Both Delta Air Lines
Last year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised against Thanksgiving travel in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. That recommendation let to only about 8.5 million passengers going through TSA checkpoints during the same holiday travel period, according to data compiled by the TSA.
This year, the CDC encourages the 47 million adults who are not yet vaccinated to get a vaccine as soon as possible to protect their loved ones as gathering start to move indoors again. Moreover, the health agency strongly encourages older Americans and individuals with underlying medical conditions to receive a booster dose of either the Pfizer
The increase in travelers is mostly good news for the industry that impacted the most by the onset of the pandemic. However, many airlines are struggling to keep up with the influx of fresh demand as many had to cut their schedules and staff to stay afloat throughout the pandemic. Now, airlines are racing to hire pilots, flight attendants and other workers in order to keep up with increased passenger volumes after more than a year and a half of little demand.