Air travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the U.S. surged past pre-pandemic levels, according to recent figures from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Nearly 9.8 million people were screened by TSA officers at airports nationwide from Friday through Monday, the TSA tweeted.
That's 300,000 more individuals compared with the same holiday weekend in 2019.
On Friday alone, about 2.74 million people passed through security checkpoints, up from the TSA's earlier projection of 2.6 million and the "highest post pandemic single day record," according to the TSA.
The figures aren't entirely surprising, as several industry experts signaled that demand will continue to surge this summer as people prioritize travel despite the uncertain economy.
Travelers wait to go through security at the international terminal of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, California, US, on Thursday, May 25, 2023. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
AAA projected earlier this month that more than 42 million people would hit the road over the holiday weekend, signaling "what’s to come in the months ahead."
More than 2 million people are already being screened daily, a significant uptick from last year, according to the TSA.
During the first quarter of 2023, officers screened more than 191 million passengers at security checkpoints nationwide, up 20.4% from the same period a year ago, according to the TSA.
Given the continued demand, airline industry officials say carriers have fixed problems that contributed to a surge in flight cancellations and delays last summer, when 52,000 flights were canceled from June through August.
Airlines have hired about 30,000 workers since then, including thousands of pilots, and they are using bigger planes to reduce flights but not the number of seats.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.