Thanksgiving: 2 million people took flights on weekend despite Covid travel warnings


More than two million people took flights over the weekend despite coronavirus travel warnings ahead of Thanksgiving.

And Saturday’s screenings took the two-day number to the two million mark, one of the busiest periods for air travel since the pandemic began in March.

The only larger daily number came on 18 October when 1.03 million passengers travelled.

But that number is still just 42 per cent of the number of passengers screened on the Friday and Saturday before thanksgiving in 2019.

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The numbers were recorded just days after the Centers for Disease Control issued a warning against travelling for the Thanksgiving holiday, when most Americans spend time with family.

The US has now passed 12 million coronavirus cases and more than 255,000 people have died during the pandemic, according to date from Johns Hopkins University.

United Airlines has reported an increase in flight cancellations and a drop-off in bookings as Covid cases have surged across the country, reports CNN.

The company says it is expecting its busiest week since the pandemic began.

Southwest and American Airlines say they have seen a decline in bookings but not an increase in cancellations.

American Airlines says it will increase is schedule by 15 per cent this week compared to the rest of November, from a daily average of 3,5000 flights to more than 4,000.

Health officials in states like California have warned against travelling for the holiday week and say anyone who does should quarantine for 14 days after they return.

“Do we want to see them travel? Yes, but only if it’s safe for them,” Nick Calio, chief executive of trade association Airlines for America, told CNN.

“There’s a variety of factors involved in that for each individual traveler.”

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