Travelers wait in the airport security line. (photo by Eric Bowman)
A touch of irony, perhaps?
U.S. airports had their third-busiest day of the pandemic era on Friday, March 11, as 2,297,374 passengers were screened by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Despite the decision by the Biden Administration to prolong the federal mask mandate for another month, travelers flocked to the airport in droves.
It was likely a combination of spring break beginning for thousands of college students across the country, coupled with a dramatic drop in positive COVID-19 cases and – save for the mask mandate extension – a loosening of restrictions in many areas of the country, including restaurants.
Well, March 11 was the two-year anniversary of the coronavirus being declared a pandemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the aviation blog The Points Guy, the nearly 2.3 million passengers who traveled on Friday was 62 percent higher than on the same day in 2021. Only two days during the last two years produced more fliers, and both came during the Thanksgiving holiday break of 2021 before the Omicron variant of the virus slowed travel for about two months.