Record number of travelers take to the skies

Local

SAN DIEGO —A record number of travelers passed through U.S. airports this Friday, according to the TSA.

The uptick in numbers seems to be a positive turnaround for the travel industry. Some travelers who went through San Diego International Airport on Saturday said it looked like a madhouse once again.

“It seems like it’s back to normal and then some. It seems like people were pent up,” said passenger Sarah Bear. “They got some money saved. They’re ready to rock.”

The TSA says that on Friday more than 2 million travelers passed through airport security checkpoints for the first time since March of 2020.

“There’s a lot of people who want to see their families and a lot of people who want a little break from their houses,” said passenger Amanda Katona.

Airport officials say just over 30,000 passengers passed through TSA checkpoints in San Diego on Friday. That’s 282% higher than this time last year, but the number is still down 34% from 2019.

“Planes were full,” said passenger Jackson Muecke. “The last couple of flights I’ve been on were completely full. Completely full.”

Some passengers said they feel more comfortable flying after getting vaccinated.

“It’s pretty exciting that we are getting back to normal and I think more people are getting the vaccine and enjoying hugging their friends and relatives because they’re vaccinated and I just hope everybody gets vaccinated,” said Muecke.

Muecke says he’s already planning his next vacation.

“My wife and I are going to Australia in November so we are flying from LA to Australia and 11 days on a cruise so we can’t wait for that,” he said.

The airport wants to remind passengers they are federally mandated to continue to wear masks until September.

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