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Data: TSA; Chart: Axios Visuals

TSA officers screened more than 1.35 million people at airports on Friday, the highest number of passengers on a single day since March 15, 2020, the latest sign that air travel is making a comeback.

Why it matters: Travel has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, but data show the trend is moving in the right direction for airlines, airport vendors and hopeful wanderers.

  • However, that likely also means that ultra-low airfares and travel deals are coming to an end.

Where it stands: “Well over half, 60% of Americans, say they will be traveling for leisure in the next three months, according to a survey done less than a week ago,” Micki Dudas, director of AAA Leisure Travel, told reporters.

  • AAA also found that 84% of those surveyed have at least tentative plans to travel in 2021.  
  • “The travel industry continues to see a parallel between the vaccine roll out and increased optimism among the traveling public, and a greater comfort level from travelers seeking to book for the summer or fall of this year,” Dudas added.

Yes, but: The number of passengers on Friday was still 20% lower than on the same day last year, and down nearly 38% from 2019, TSA data show.

  • The 7-day average of travelers is only about half of what it was at this point in 2019.

Go deeper

Updated 55 mins ago - Sports

MLB headed for first lockout since '95 as deal expires

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (L) and Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. Photo: Matt King/MLB via Getty Images

Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expired at 11:59 p.m. ET Wednesday without a new deal in place.

Why it matters: With no CBA, the MLB is headed for the first management lockout since a 1994-95 strike led to the cancelation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.