Despite coronavirus, Memorial Day weekend boosts air travel

Weekend drew more daily travelers than TSA has seen since rolling out changes to prevent COVID-19 spread

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TSA daily screening numbers appear to show a bump in air travel around Memorial Day weekend as many parts of the U.S. loosen coronavirus restrictions, including popular vacation destinations like Florida.

MEMORIAL DAY AIR TRAVEL DURING CORONAVIRUS HITS ALL-TIME LOW

The Friday and Monday around Memorial Day weekend are often travel days, and both saw more than 340,000 travelers per day in 2020. Saturday and Sunday were lower, hovering around 250,000.

A family wearing masks waits to board a Southwest Airlines flight Sunday, May 24, 2020, at Kansas City International airport in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Total daily traveler numbers were below 100,000 for much of late April.

The long weekend brought more daily travelers than TSA has seen since rolling out changes to prevent the spread of coronavirus at airport checkpoints. That may have contributed to long waits in the TSA screening line for passengers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina on Monday.

WCNC reporter Hunter Saenz described the wait as a "travel nightmare."

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"Checkpoint wait times will vary due to the challenges of social distancing in an airport," the airport posted on Twitter on Monday. "Expect lines. Please plan ahead. Arrive at least 2 hours before domestic travel and 3 hours before international flights. Use the MyTSA app for the latest on checkpoint wait times."

The TSA changes are supposed to be in place across the board by mid-June.

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