Travel picks up nationwide for Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and several safety policies and travel regulations have constantly been changing as the pandemic runs its course.

At Phoenix Sky Harbor and airports across the country, travel is picking up.

Since Saturday, more than 8 million passengers have passed through TSA checkpoints. That's up by an estimated 6.8 million people compared from last year, but still down 3 million compared to pre-pandemic times in 2019.

AAA predicts more than 37 million people will be traveling Memorial Day weekend, by air, car, bus, train or cruise. The top two destinations this year? Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida.

Airport staff say it's great to see passengers return after a tough year for the industry that grounded planes, cancelled flights and laid off hundreds of workers.

"There is nothing like the energy and excitement that you find in an airport or in a terminal from people, meeting somebody who's flying in or getting ready for their trip," said Greg Roybal, public information officer for Sky Harbor Airport. "People want to start traveling again. And you can do it safely, We want to have them back."

Some things to know before traveling:

  • Pack a face mask. The federal mask mandate is still in effect at all airports and onboard flights.
  • Have a plan for parking, or reserve a spot early - the same goes for rental cars. Make reservations as soon as possible, as many places are selling out.
  • Check your flight status.
  • Give yourself extra time, especially for TSA security checkpoints. A good rule of thumb is to get to the airport at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours for international routes.

Download FOX 10 apps for local breaking news and weather

More travel news

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news: