As our economy re-opened from the pandemic, air travel rebounded. This week’s chart shows that the count of passengers passing through TSA checkpoints is back to pre-pandemic levels.
This rebound has yet to be smooth sailing. At the onset of the pandemic, airlines quickly cut staff and encouraged retirements, only to have to quickly rebuild staff levels in the months that followed. Today, airlines still struggle to balance the demand for travel with staffing levels, and almost all travelers can get frustrated with crowded airports and packed planes.
As of this writing, a developing winter storm is taking shape that will likely require a bit more patience and holiday cheer to endure. If it impacted your Christmas travel, hopefully, it was just a small inconvenience.
It can be hard to recall where we were as an economy less than two years ago. Seeing the passenger count drop to near zero as the pandemic set in reminds us of just how far we have come. While we expect the economy to slow in 2023, it will be nothing like 2020, and we remain optimistic in the longer term.