Labor Day weekend airport travel could break pandemic record

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FILE – In this July 22, 2020 photo, a ticketing agent for Delta Airlines hands a boarding pass to a passenger as he checks in for a flight in the main terminal of Denver International Airport in Denver. .Air travel has collapsed because of the virus pandemic, and airlines are trying to convince passengers and their own employees about safety. All airlines require passengers to wear masks during flights, and most extend the rule to airports too. But some people have complained about violators refusing to keep their mask on .(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(CNN Newsource) – The number of people passing through security at U.S. airports this holiday weekend could set a new pandemic record, creating a glimmer of hope for a struggling air travel industry.

Air travel is still a fraction of what it was a year ago, but the TSA thinks the number of people passing through security at America’s airports will break a new record of the pandemic this weekend. The high point on Thursday was 10 times the low point seen back in April.

The TSA thinks 900,000 people flew on Friday, but that official number will not be out until Tuesday.

Those who are flying are facing an entirely new experience. At security, passengers are asked to put everything from their pockets in their bags, bypassing the usual trays, in order to reduce touch points. TSA employees are blocked by acrylic shields.

About 1,800 TSA employees have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

At Reagan National Airport, a new way to keep up social distancing is being tested. A new machine will scan IDs and faces to confirm passengers’ identities.

Airlines are also mandating masks starting at check-in, all the way to the flight. Delta says it has banned 270 passengers for refusing to wear one. That averages out to be about three a day since Delta’s mask policy went into place.


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