Mid-April saw a record-low number of travelers in the flight industry due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the TSA has reported an increase in passenger screenings over the weekend, with Sunday seeing the highest numbers of screenings since April 3.
The uptick in passengers can be traced back to Thursday, as seen in the TSA’s public logs. Thursday saw 111,627 travelers, increasing on Friday with 123,464 travelers. There was a small drop on Saturday with a reported 114,459 passengers before a spike of 128,875 of passengers on Sunday.
While the TSA may screen as many as 2.5 million passengers throughout the country on a normal day, passenger traffic has recently been ebbing between low 90s and low 100s according to Fox News.
However, many workers in the industry consider the trend a cause for concern. The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents 50,000 flight attendants and 20 airlines, is currently petitioning the Secretary of Transportation to halt all leisure travel while the coronavirus continues to spread around the world.
The association urged the DOT to not only halt leisure travel for the time being but also make PPE mandatory on necessary flights in an open letter on Thursday.
“We are calling on the Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services and other relevant agencies, to use its authority to mandate masks in aviation for crew, employees and passengers; require personal protective equipment; and end all leisure travel until the virus is contained,” the letter reads.
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