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Passengers in the Las Vegas International Airport on Aug. 29. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

More than 3 million people passed through U.S. airports over Labor Day weekend, with nearly 969,000 passengers boarding flights on Sept. 4 and another 935,000 on Sept. 7, the Transportation Security Administration announced.

Why it matters: Those dates saw the most individuals screened on any single day since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the U.S. in mid-March — suggesting that Americans may be warming up to air travel.

What they're saying: “Passenger volume on the busiest day of the Labor Day weekend was up 30% from the busiest day of the July Fourth holiday weekend,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said.

  • “This is an encouraging trend for the aviation sector as airports, airlines and TSA work together to ensure a secure and safe travel experience for passengers.”

The big picture: The increase in travel was a welcome sight for airlines, which have been hit hard from the dip in demand during the pandemic.

Go deeper

Nov 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Some air travelers pay premium for social distancing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Business travel remains depressed during the pandemic, but some airlines are seeing more leisure travelers in their first-class cabins.

Why it matters: Many people are avoiding air travel during the public health crisis, fearful they'll catch COVID-19 from a nearby passenger. But for those who can afford it, premium class seats offer more comfort and perhaps a little extra breathing room.

Nov 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Touchless travel could threaten airport jobs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Universal History Archive, Pictorial Parade/Getty Images

Air travel is becoming a touchless, self-directed journey, which poses a threat to traditional airport customer service jobs.

Why it matters: Automation and artificial intelligence have long been viewed as a threat to jobs, but the unprecedented disruption COVID-19 is posing to the travel industry could have lasting workforce implications.

Air travel's COVID-created future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Ann Ronan Pictures, Bettmann/Getty Images

A look at the future of air travel as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday week while coronavirus cases are surging and the CDC is urging Americans to avoid travel.

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