It’s not exactly a surprise that the number of people traveling has decreased since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The travel industry has grinded to a virtual halt, with people canceling their plans and airlines cutting the majority of their routes for the next few months. But the unfortunate state of affairs becomes much more evident when you look at the actual numbers. The Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) travel checkpoint numbers for 2019 and 2020 bring to light exactly how few people have been traveling this past month compared to the same time last year.
According to the TSA, March 31 saw just 146,348 travelers passing through checkpoints, compared to 2,026,256 on the same date last year. Painting an even starker contrast, on March 1 of this year — just 31 days ago — the TSA recorded 2,280,522 passengers. That’s a drop of over two million travelers in a month.
While government instructions and passenger fears are making people think twice about traveling, TSA agents themselves are also at high risk for infection. According to the TSA, 62 screening officers have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past two weeks, as well as 17 non-screening employees.
As the crisis continues, TSA numbers are likely to remain low. But we hope that when the pandemic is over and travel restrictions are lifted, traveler numbers will skyrocket as people race to scratch the travel itch that has been burning for months.