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After multiple days of record lows in mid-April, TSA has seen an uptick in passenger screenings over the weekend, culminating in its highest screenings for a single day (Sunday) since April 3.
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On Sunday, the TSA screened 128,875 passengers. Although this number is far from normal — the agency screened a total of 2.5 million passengers at airports across the United States on the same day last year — it’s tens of thousands higher than some of the total daily screening numbers reported earlier in April. It’s also seemingly part of a trend of increased traveling, as quarantine stretches on into week six for many across the country.
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According to public logs kept by the TSA, the consistent uptick in passenger travel began Thursday with 111,627, followed by 123,464 on Friday. On Saturday, there was a slight decrease with 114,459, and then a spike on Sunday.
Though passenger traffic has ebbed between the low 90s and low 100s, the weekend saw the most consistent increase since the beginning of the month. The previous high (i.e., the highest number of passengers screened in a single day) was on April 3, with 129,763.
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The trend comes as the Association of Flight Attendants is petitioning the Secretary of Transportation to halt all leisure travel as the coronavirus pandemic continues around the world.
In the open letter, the association, which represents 50,000 flight attendants and 20 airlines, urged the DOT to end leisure travel to stop the spread of coronavirus, as well as make PPE mandatory on flights.
“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 written on Thursday reads.