Holiday weekend travelers crowded US airports and packed planes amid a travel surge that pushed Delta Airlines to fill middle seats, despite a pledge not to do so until the end of the month.
The Transportation Security Administration says it screened 1.54 million people at airports across the country on Sunday, just shy of a pandemic record set Friday when 1.58 million people flew. More than 6 million people have flown since Thursday.
Sunday’s number is more than ten times greater than bottomed-out figures of a year ago, but still well below 2019 levels.
TSA figures have been higher than 1.5 million for three of the last seven days and higher than one million for 25 days in a row.
While travel is coming back with a vengeance, the CDC is still advising against it. On Friday, the CDC said those who are fully vaccinated can travel at low risk to themselves but said non-essential travel should still be avoided.
Delta Air Lines said it had to fill some middle seats on weekend flights to keep up with demand, even though its cap on seating capacity does not end until May 1.