Nov 24, 2021 - Economy

In photos: Thanksgiving travel nears pre-pandemic levels

a crowd of people stand on a curb to the left, in the middle of a frame, a woman waves to a driver as she walks towards a vehicle.

A long line of people awaiting rides after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

People are journeying across the U.S. en masse this week to commemorate the Thanksgiving holiday, with air travel closing in on pre-pandemic levels after more than a year of COVID.

Why it matters: Last Thanksgiving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans not to travel because of the pandemic. One year later, the total number of people traveling for the holiday by car, bus, train or plane is expected to cross 53 million, or 95% of 2019 levels.

In photos

Photo of people lined up at a train station
People wait for their train at Moynihan Station in New York on Nov. 24, 2021, the day before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year. Photo: Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty Images
Photo of people with two carts filled with luggage as they stand outside an airport terminal
Rubal Singh (center) stacks bags with his family at the Los Angeles International Airport on Nov. 18, 2021, as they prepare to travel to India over the Thanksgiving holiday. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images.
people seen retrieving luggage from overhead bins on an airplane.
Passengers deplane from an airplane after landing at the Albuquerque International Sunport on Nov. 24, 2021, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images
Photo of people coming down an escalator at an airport
Travelers at San Francisco International Airport on Nov. 24, 2021. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photo of the U.S. Capitol building in the distance, with roads leading to and from crammed with cars
The U.S. Capitol is seen in the backdrop as traffic fills North Capitol Street on Nov. 23, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images
Photo of two people hugging with one holding a dog that peers over their shoulder, outside an airport terminal
Nadine Traboulsi (left), holding her dog Chloe, hugs her mother May Traboulsi at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California on Nov. 18, 2021, as she heads to Atlanta to visit her other daughter for Thanksgiving. Photo: Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
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