Millions of Americans, despite the recommendations, decided to use the services of airlines before Thanksgiving.
The US transportation security administration (TSA) screened more than 3 million passengers over the weekend before Thanksgiving, the busiest weekend since mid-March. Many Americans ignored the Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) warning and went to visit relatives for the holidays.
Last week, US airline executives said that growth in ticket purchases has slowed as the number of COVID-19 cases has increased. However, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said he expects ticket bookings in November to be better than in October and September.
Although TSA figures have been increasing, the number of people using airline services is 60% less than in the same period last year.
Airlines lose millions of dollars every day due to a sharp drop in air ticket sales. Some carriers were hoping to increase the number of flights on Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.
Amtrak Chief Executive Bill Flynn told reporters that demand for thanksgiving train tickets has declined slightly over the past few days” to 20% of last year’s demand.
American airlines say that demand for air tickets is 62% of last year’s figure. Demand for international flights decreased by more than 70%. Some officials believe that the restrictions that have been imposed that prohibit foreign tourists from visiting the United States may be lifted in whole or in part as new methods of testing for COVID-19 become available.
The CDC on Saturday said testing for the virus before and after international travel could reduce the risk and “make travel safer by reducing the spread of the virus on planes, airports and elsewhere.” On Wednesday, executives from seven major US airlines issued a new call for more financial assistance.
American Airlines and United Airlines laid off 32,000 employees last month.