The travel industry is showing some signs of recovery.
On Friday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) saw 968,673 passengers travel through U.S. airport security checkpoints, the highest number since COVID-19 began to impact the travel industry in March. That number was followed by 935,308 traveling on Monday.
Those follow four straight Sundays of 800,000-plus passengers, including the highest passenger numbers in the last six months.
The increase is good news for those looking for signs of recovery for the travel industry—the number is more than 10% higher than the previous high, 862,949 on Aug. 16—though there is still a long way to go. Traffic is still down significantly year-over-year as the Friday before Labor Day last year saw 2.18 million passenger travel through TSA checkpoints in the U.S.
Now, with some borders remaining closed (Americans are still barred from entry to European Union countries and the U.S.-Canada border remains closed) travel companies are looking at new policies and procedures to get people traveling again.
Airlines and airports have continued pushing for COVID-19 testing in order to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. That includes an IATA-led group that last month met with a United Nations task to push for COVID-19 testing requirements prior to travel instead of quarantines in order to help boost consumer desire to travel.
Recently, U.S. Travel released a statement supporting the push from the U.S. airline industry to develop the program, explaining that “we have long maintained that testing is the key to both safer travel and reopening the economy.”
U.S. airlines have also made the move to eliminate change fees—Alaska, Delta Air Lines, American, and United all made the announcement last week—in order to give travelers some flexibility in an uncertain environment.
Some destinations also continue to change the way they are welcoming tourists in order to ensure that inbound travelers remain confident they’ll stay safe and healthy during their journey. Costa Rica is only permitting U.S. travelers from States with lower COVID-19 transmission rates and the Bahamas recently added a COVID-19 negative test requirement for tourists.