Holiday travel rush begins: TSA screened more than 1 million passengers Friday

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The holiday travel rush has begun at airports across the nation despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice to stay home this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Transportation Security Administration screened 1,066,747 travelers on Friday, the traditional start of the holiday travel season as vacations from school and work begin. 

That’s 1.5 million fewer passengers than a year ago, a 59% plunge, but is only the sixth time passenger counts topped 1 million since travel demand plummeted in mid-March. The low point came on April 14, with just 87,534 passengers screened.

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The CDC also recommended against Thanksgiving travel but airports were filled with holiday travelers, if smaller crowds than a typical year. Passenger counts topped 1 million four times during the Thanksgiving rush, hitting a pandemic high of 1,176,091 on November 29, the Sunday after the holiday, according to the TSA.

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  • Slide 1 of 23: Airlines around the world are parking planes at airports and storage facilities as the coronavirus pandemic to continues to decimate the industry. Scroll on to get an idea of just how many aircraft are being mothballed.

  • Slide 2 of 23: Several dozen Delta Air Lines jets are parked at Kansas City International Airport. The airline began mothballing planes in early March, when it parked 300 planes and cut 40% of its capacity. At the time, it was the biggest cut in company history.

  • Slide 3 of 23: As airlines cut more service, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pittsburgh International Airport has closed one of its four runways to store close to 100 planes.

  • Slide 4 of 23: More than 80 American Airlines jets were parked at Pittsburgh International Airport as of March 31.

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  • Slide 5 of 23: United has planes stashed at Orlando International Airport.

  • Slide 6 of 23: Frontier and JetBlue have planes parked at Orlando International Airport as well.

  • Slide 7 of 23: Southwest is storing aircraft at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. The desert facility is about 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

  • Slide 8 of 23: More aircraft are being stored at the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California.

  • Slide 9 of 23: It's the same story in Germany, where Lufthansa passenger planes are parked on a closed runway northwest of Frankfurt Airport, normally one of Europe's busiest hubs.

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  • Slide 10 of 23: Planes belonging to Lufthansa's low-cost subsidiary, Germanwings, are being stored at Munich's Franz-Josef-Strauss Airport.

  • Slide 11 of 23: A satellite image shows how another of Europe's busiest airports, Charles de Gaulle in Paris, has become a parking lot for planes.

  • Slide 12 of 23: Dutch airline KLM has parked on the tarmac of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

  • Slide 13 of 23: British Airways has grounded much of its fleet, including these jets parked at London Heathrow. The airport has shut down two terminals due to low demand.

  • Slide 14 of 23: Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has parked planes in Dublin and says it will continue to fly a reduced schedule through mid-April.

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  • Slide 15 of 23: British low-cost carrier EasyJet has covered the engines of an Airbus A320 to keep foreign objects from entering, part of the process for storing planes.

  • Slide 16 of 23: Iberia, the flagship carrier of Spain, has parked planes on the tarmac at Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suarez Airport.

  • Slide 17 of 23: Swiss jets are seen parked at the airport in Geneva.

  • Slide 18 of 23: Scandinavian Airlines planes sit idle on the tarmac at Copenhagen Airport.

  • Slide 19 of 23: Israel's flagship carrier, El Al, has suspended commercial flights until early May and will only operate cargo and rescue flights until then.

  • Slide 20 of 23: Egyptair has suspended flights to and from Egypt until April 23.

  • Slide 21 of 23: Qantas, which has grounded the vast majority of its international fleet, is stowing planes at Sydney's airport.

  • Slide 22 of 23: Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's flagship carrier has parked its planes at Hong Kong International Airport. On April 8, the airport began testing all inbound passengers for COVID-19.

  • Slide 23 of 23: China may be beginning to slowly reopen its economy but the country is barring foreigners from entering the country to prevent reinfections. As a result, Air China jets were still parked at Beijing Capital Airport as of late March.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Holiday travel rush begins: TSA screened more than 1 million passengers Friday

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