March 11 Was the 3rd Busiest Travel Day of the Pandemic

This springtime travel surge could point to significant changes in the travel industry.

Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images
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Throughout the pandemic, the number of travelers passing through airports has generally been much lower than before COVID-19 changed traveling forever. And while there have been peak travel days during the pandemic, they have mostly been related to major holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the Fourth of July. Now, Friday, March 11, 2022, has become the third busiest day for travel since the pandemic began.

Data gathered by the Transportation Security Administration revealed that 2,297,374 passengers passed through US airports on Friday. On March 11, 2021, only 1,409,771 people passed through US airports. Since the beginning of the year, the two busiest travel days were during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021. November 28, 2021, was the busiest travel day since the pandemic, with 2,451,300 people passing through TSA checkpoints.

Friday's high traffic wasn't a sudden jump in numbers. The Points Guy reports that transit officials have noted that an increased number of passengers have been passing through airports in the past few weeks. As more and more parts of the country and the world loosen COVID restrictions, there has been a gradual increase in the number of travelers. The TSA recorded 2,288,800 passengers on Sunday, March 13, compared to just 1,345,284 on the same day last year.

The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that travel in 2022 could increase by 6.2% compared to 2019. "Our latest forecast shows the recovery significantly picking up this year as infection rates subside and travelers continue benefiting from the protection offered by the vaccine and boosters," said President CEO of World Travel and Tourism, Julia Simpson, in a press release.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.