TSA Screenings Are Back Up, a Great Sign for Summer Travel Prospects

Airlines are planning to increase service to Florida and other domestic destinations

Woman laying on a sunny beach reading a book
Maybe you can tackle that beach read on an actual beach.
Chen Mizrach/Unsplash

This past Sunday, the TSA screened over 440,000 people. It’s still a paltry percentage of last year’s number at this time (about 2.7 million a day), but it’s the highest number since March, a step in the right direction, and a sign that there might be some relief for the domestic travel industry this summer.

While business travel probably won’t return for months (few companies are even planning on bringing employees into offices before Labor Day, so it will take some time before they start sending them around the world again), and international leisure travel faces hurdles like ad hoc quarantine regulations and exclusive “corona corridors,” vacation-oriented travel throughout the States actually has a chance to return in 2020.

Resorts like Florida’s Fontainebleau Miami Beach have reported a surprising influx of visitors from states like California, New York, New Jersey and Texas; national parks are already seeing “long lines and crowded trails”; and entertainment strongholds both young and old — Disney World and Las Vegas — are reopening and attracting visitors with bottom-of-the-barrel overnight rates.

Airlines have taken notice. American is planning to resume a number of flights in July to South Carolina destinations like Charleston and Savannah, while ramping up routes to Montana, Colorado and Utah. Similarly, United has its eyes set on seasonal places like Portland, Maine and Jackson, Wyoming. All domestic carriers, meanwhile, want to send more airplanes to Florida.

Many publications have anointed this a “road trip summer,” but it’s understandable if you’re keen to see and experience a locale hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. Just remember, if you do choose to board a plane, you have a responsibility to those around you — wear a mask, don’t fly if you’re sick, consider taking an antibody test beforehand — but safety may be out of your hands. Despite reports of frequent deep-cleans and the elimination of the middle seat, many planes are still packed, and packed with people not covering their faces.

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