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July 4 Weekend: Air Travel Exceeds Pre-Pandemic Levels

  • Cars Explained
  • Renee Martin
  • 3 minutes

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Air travel seems to be surging towards normalcy, with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening over 10 million passengers between July 1 and July 5. This marks a new record for air travel during the current pandemic. During the July 4th weekend, air travel saw a 200% jump compared to the same period last year when just over 3.4 million passengers passed through TSA checkpoints. With over 70% of American adults partially vaccinated, it’s no surprise that many people opted to fly for their holiday or family reunions during the July 4th weekend.  

Weekly airport travelers and parking (June 21-27, 2021)

While 12 million people caught a flight over the July 4th weekend in 2019, before the onset of Covid-19, TSA’s data has revealed that it had screened more people on two days over the weekend this year compared to two years ago. According to the data, around 2.15 million passengers passed through security checkpoints on Thursday and 2.2 million on Friday this year. These figures far exceed the 2.09 million and 2.18 million passengers recorded during the same days in 2019.   

Air Travel Exceeds Pre-Pandemic LevelsWhat’s even more encouraging is that the record air travel over the July 4th weekend this year occurred despite delays and cancellations. Before the weekend, American and Southwest were forced to cancel a few flights due to staffing shortages and bad weather conditions. However, the recent surge in passengers isn’t surprising since air travel showed signs of recovery earlier this year. TSA’s data shows that over 7 million passengers passed through security checkpoints during the Memorial Day weekend, far more than the same period last year.  

The record numbers this year, however, meant it wasn’t all smooth sailing for passengers. Those flying out of Philadelphia struggled to find adequate spots to park their vehicles as the economy lot at Philly airport parking continues to be non-operational. With more than 92,000 people passing through LAX on Friday, air travelers faced traffic blocks and long lines at security checkpoints. Passengers flying out of Los Angeles were even advised to visit the LAX parking website every half hour to check availability. At Fort Lauderdale airport parking, authorities opened up their offsite lot as early as Thursday, expecting the onsite parking garages to be at total capacity before the weekend had even begun! However, there was something to cheer about for regular patrons of Seattle’s SeaTac airport. With summer travel showing signs of recovery, SeaTac airport parking authorities have announced that it has begun construction to increase capacity at its cell phone waiting lot.  Air Travel Exceeds Pre-Pandemic LevelsJust as we had predicted last week, parking woes are likely to continue for the foreseeable future as airports scramble to hire staff and reopen onsite parking garages. Thankfully, many parking websites and parking apps, including way.com, help you find safe and affordable offsite parking with amenities such as shuttles to the terminals and 24/7 security for your vehicle. By booking a parking spot through way.com, you can enjoy benefits such as contactless payment, guaranteed spots, valet service as well flexible cancellation policies. 

Airport parking scarcity leaves travelers frustrated

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