Security screenings at New England airports jumped by nearly 50% over the weekend as tens of thousands more travelers left home on the first weekend of February school vacation.
Roughly 230,000 people passed through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in the six major New England airports between Friday and Sunday, 75,000 more than the previous weekend, according to Dan Velez the TSA’s regional spokesperson.
Passenger screenings rose collectively between the six largest airports servicing the region — Logan Airport, T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Portland International Jetport, Manchester Airport, Bradley International Airport and Burlington International Airport.
Five of the six New England states began a week of February school vacation after classes ended Friday. New Hampshire’s mid-winter break falls a week later.
The spike in travel began ahead of the weekend. Last Thursday, 76,000 people passed through the six airports, nearly 22,000 more than the Thursday prior, Velez said.
Travel also rose nationally over the weekend. On both Friday and Sunday, the TSA nationally screened more than 2 million people after only doing so once already this year. The two days had the highest air travel since Christmas, TSA data showed.
February vacation travel over the weekend was dramatically higher than last year, when roughly half as many people flew on the first weekend of the school break.
When students return to classes on Feb. 28, face coverings will no longer be required by the state in Massachusetts schools, though many districts have elected locally to keep them. Boston, Worcester and Springfield will all keep their school mask mandates into March. Other cities, including Westfield and Chicopee, are dropping their mask requirements.
Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.