The Transportation Security Administration is experiencing a steady influx of travelers at airport checkpoints, with the last two months each topping the numbers recorded during the same period before the pandemic.
TSA officials said the total number of travelers screened monthly between March 2020 through December 2022 never topped the same month in 2019, but pent-up demand and a return to normalcy has the tide turning.
In January, air travel numbers exceeded pre-pandemic totals for the first time, reaching 60.5 million passengers screened, an increase from the 58.6 million who went through security checkpoints in January 2019.
February marked the second time since the pandemic and the second month in a row that air travel numbers exceeded pre-coronavirus totals, with the 58.1 million passengers screened surpassing the 57.9 million from 2019.
In February, Expedia data showed that flight searches for March and April travel were up 40 percent compared to last year, with interest in international destinations like Punta Cana, Paris and Tokyo up double-digits compared to spring break 2022.
Without the COVID-19 testing requirements of last spring, many travelers are eagerly returning to their favorite Mexico and Caribbean beaches, which are experiencing double-digit spikes in flight searches year over year.
To meet the expected influx of summer and Spring Break travelers, officials from Airports Council International (ACI) said the airline industries in Europe and North America are better prepared for the demand surge as staffing has improved, but there are still concerns about long lines and delayed flights during peak periods.
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