U.S. Fliers Buck CDC Warning in Busiest Weekend Since March

Airlines set a new post-pandemic record for U.S. passengers on Sunday as the Thanksgiving holiday spurred travel despite government warnings.

A total of 1,047,934 people went through airport screening Sunday, the most since the coronavirus pandemic torpedoed demand for flights in mid-March, according todata compiled by the Transportation Security Administration. Since Friday, more than 3 million people have flown, the largest three-day total in the same period.

More travelers are taking to the skies even after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged people not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 26, and to limit gatherings to people in the same household.American Airlines Group Inc.,United Airlines Holdings Inc. andSouthwest Airlines Co. said last week that bookings were softening as U.S. Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations surged to record levels this month.

While airlines reported rising cancellations, the weekend’s airport-screening numbers rose by several measures. Sunday’s passenger total was about 45% of the equivalent day in 2019, the highest year-over-year comparison since mid-March.

Total travelers also jumped from the previous weekend. On Saturday, 984,369 people flew, according to the TSA. That was more than 40% higher than the same day a week earlier.

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