Holiday air travel surges despite dire health warnings

Nearly 1.2 million people passed through U.S. airports Sunday, the greatest number since the pandemic gripped the country in March, despite pleas from health experts for Americans to stay home over Thanksgiving.

The Transportation Security Administration screened at least 1 million people on four of the last 10 days through Sunday. That’s still half the crowd recorded last year at airports, when more than 2 million people were counted per day.

With new reported cases of coronavirus spiking across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a warning against Thanksgiving travel just a week before the holiday.

Some airlines had reported a pullback in bookings as virus cases grew. On Monday, JetBlue Airways said “booking trends remain volatile,” and a recovery in travel demand will be uneven into next year.

JetBlue, the nation’s sixth-largest airline, plans to fly only half its normal schedule in the fourth quarter and revenue will fall about 70% from the same period last year. Those are slightly deeper reductions in flying and revenue than the New York carrier had expected before the recent spike in infections.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

6 thoughts on “Holiday air travel surges despite dire health warnings

  1. People aren’t going to buy the hot air anymore from the politically and financially gainful from COVID-19 no more.

    It’s been milked too long as what we see on the ground is a lot less than the exploitation reported in the media.

    1. Yes, all those exploitative reports from the doctors and nurses on the front lines dealing with patients dying of COVID who blame the hospital for giving them COVID, or insisting they have something else as they’re being intubated… those people are full of it, aren’t they?

    1. Why so hysterical, Joe B and J Timothy S?! No, Darrell W is not suggesting that “no one is dying”. Nor would he suggest that no one dies from the flu, or cancer or heart disease or any other illness…it’s just NOT a 24 hour news cycle of gloom and doom with any of those tragedies as it is with the almighty coronavirus! We are simply tired of the unbalanced and unreasonable attention given to a virus that is 99.997% survivable for most of the population. And we are tired of the irrational response to it as well, given these statistics. Stay hidden until it goes away or you get a vaccine or forever if you wish…you’ll be fine. Just stop insisting that the rest of us stop living our lives along with you!

    2. Funny you mention being tired, because I’m tired too.

      I’m tired of people bringing about this third wave (just as the scientists predicted could happen, by the way) because they won’t listen. We’ve got a fair chunk of the population that thinks they know better than trained scientists (this must be how you “own the libs”), spouting nonsense and making awful choices because they don’t like the way facts make them feel. We all have to deal with the consequences of their selfish, ignorant behavior when there’s no room at the hospital for folks dealing with other emergencies, because that small percentage of COVID patients who need medical care all show up *at the same time* and overwhelm the hospitals.

      I’m tired of their leader, the president of the United States, who could have ensured re-election if he hadn’t botched the coronavirus response, deciding that he’s going to go play golf for the next two months and pout and only wants to speak out to try to make sure he gets all the credit, but none of the blame, for how things are going. The United States is at war with a virus, things have literally never been worse, and leadership is needed. If you don’t want to be the leader of the free world because it cuts into your time to tweet, resign. Here’s words I never thought I’d say – bring on Mike Pence, he couldn’t do any worse.

      I’m tired of my kids being home from school because so many students/teachers are quarantined that they can’t be open. Lots of parents are either out of the workforce because they need to watch their kids or at wits end trying to work their jobs with kids home from school. Explain to me why we’ve prioritized bars and restaurants being open while we have to close schools. Why aren’t schools being prioritized for being open?

      Speaking of restaurants, I’m tired of all the restaurants in town closing up for good because they can’t make ends meet because their profit margins don’t work during a pandemic with all the people “hiding”. We need another government assistance package, stat.

      Find me some real, reputable doctors/nurses on the front line of dealing with this who back you up that this is all BS. Find me some long-haulers who say it’s really not that bad to still be dealing with side effects months after their “survivable” illness.

      Until then, maybe you should be the one who turns the news off. Most of what you’re consuming is apparently nonsense anyway.

  2. Look, I get it. You’re advocating for herd immunity. The Fairbanks study that just came out said we’re maybe 1/7 of the way there. And we could get there if we’re willing to kill “only” 13,000 more Hoosiers… and the virus kills 2.3% of those over the age of 65 in Indiana.

    https://www.ibj.com/articles/1-in-10-hoosiers-have-had-covid-19-says-iupui-expert

    And, yeah, this would have been over with if we’d all played Russian roulette with our lives and gambled that I won’t be the one to die or get something I live with the rest of my life. It also would have been death that would have overwhelmed the health care system. I guess I’m not really into death cults like you are.

    Go ahead and post what your medical professionals have to tell us. Make sure they tell us that it’s all garbage that ICU’s are full of people with COVID and they’re not concerned they won’t be able to treat new patients. I’ll be waiting. By the way … I hope their use of statistics is better than yours. See, you’re quoting the fatality rate for those under the age of 20. The rate for the elderly is round about 5%.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.