Amidst Memorial Day travel surge, airports see busiest day since the pandemic began

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COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As more Americans resume traveling this holiday weekend, Friday marked the busiest day at airports across the country since the pandemic began.

Well over 1.9 million passengers made their way through TSA checkpoints Friday, the most since March 8, 2020.

While the number of people taking to the skies isn’t as high as it was for the holiday weekend back in 2019, officials say domestic air travel has returned to about 90% of what it was pre-COVID.

At Albany International Airport, staff say that number is around 60%, but continuing to grow.

With more people returning to the skies following a significant lapse, the TSA is encouraging anyone with travel plans to review what can be brought on board.

And as airports see their biggest crowds in over a year, TSA Federal Security Director Bart Johnson is urging passengers to arrive no later than an hour and a half before departure.

“You probably could’ve gotten away with that in March 2020, but you can’t anymore, so please get here 90 minutes before your flight takes off,” he said.

Johnson also urges fully vaccinated travelers to fly with proof of vaccination, as different states have different travel restrictions.

While COVID restrictions continue to loosen, including mask-use for fully vaccinated people, the TSA is mandating masks on board aircrafts and in airports until at least September.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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