No major problems during busy Thanksgiving week, but will it last?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
It’s the Sunday of the long Thanksgiving weekend and by all accounts, domestic travel has gone off more smoothly than expected. Despite fears that labor shortages, walkouts, bad weather, security issues or out-of-control passengers could disrupt travel, no major snafus have been reported.
Our collective breath-holding has worked, and if that isn’t something we should be grateful for, I don’t know what is.(It is still early afternoon on the West Coast as I write this, so lets not get too gleeful.)
According to the Transportation Security Administration, some 2.2 million travelers passed through airport checkpoints on Saturday. That doesn’t quite reach the 2.6 million number from 2019. But it is several runways ahead of the 964,000 from 2020.
Today is set to be the busiest since the pandemic started with the TSA expected to screen 2.4 million passengers today alone.
According to the TSA, the busiest days during the Thanksgiving travel period are Tuesday and Wednesday before turkey day and the Sunday that follows. In fact, the largest volume of travelers ever recorded by the TSA was the nearly 3 million that crossed through its checkpoints the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019.
That was a few months before the world would be upended by the pandemic.
The highest numbers reported by the TSA thus far this Thanksgiving were on Wednesday, at 2.3 million. In comparison, the day before Thanksgiving in 2020 (the holiday fell on Nov. 26 last year) saw a paltry 560,902 travelers crossing through security.
Is holiday travel on its way back to meeting or exceeding traditional numbers? It’s too soon to tell. Many still making their way home from warm gatherings with family and friends may be convinced that the pandemic is all but over. They may not have been watching the news.
The specter of a new, possibly more contagious variant of the virus has led to global restrictions and strict new travel bans in the last 24 hours. Travel may have taken one step forward only to take two steps back.
The next few days will tell.
The U.S. will ban arrivals of foreign nationals from eight southern African countries starting tomorrow. Israel and Morocco have closed their borders entirely to foreigners. Cases of the new Omicron variant have been confirmed in the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, France, Canada and South Africa.
U.S. health officials speculated on Sunday talk shows that the variant could well already be here.
For now, let’s focus on the good news that Thanksgiving was a travel success. Let’s hope we see similar clear skies during the Christmas holidays.
Featured photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees