Fourth of July Weekend sees the return of busy U.S. air travel

BOSTON — For many, Fourth of July Weekend was the first big trip since the pandemic began as more people feel comfortable traveling after getting fully vaccinated.

“I didn’t know what it was going to be like this time and woah, just thrust into people. It’s bizarre,” said Chantal Jhawar, who was traveling to Boston from Canada on Monday.

Jhawar said it was overwhelming to see big crowds at the airports this holiday weekend for the first time in awhile, especially coming from Canada where they’re still in Phase 1 of reopening.

“It’s a shock because we’re in Phase 1, our restaurants can only do takeout, I mean we can’t go to hair salons still. Everything is still pretty shut down there,” Jhawar said.

The TSA said this has been the busiest travel weekend at airports since the start of the pandemic. TSA officers screened more than 2 million people on both Thursday and Friday leading into July 4th weekend, which is not only more than double the number of travelers this time last year, but also surpassing 2019 numbers as well.

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“When I got to Detroit, there was a lot of people like a lot compared to here,” said Salette Martinez, who also was traveling to Boston Monday.

A lot of travelers said it depends on which airport you’re flying from.

“It was a breeze down in Orlando, no troubles, no worries,” said Cindy Boutin, who traveled back to Boston Monday.

At Logan Airport in Boston, it wasn’t too crowded coming home Monday from the long weekend, but elsewhere it’s been very busy.

“The planes were full, but everything was on time,” Boutin said.

With the bigger crowds, many travelers in Boston said they’re glad some restrictions are still in place.

“Overall, I thought it was a good experience, a lot of people wearing masks,” Martinez said.

The TSA said you do still have to wear a mask inside all airports and on planes.