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New Pandemic-era Air Travel Record Set Over Mother's Day Weekend

FILE - Travelers walk through the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, March 17, 2021. Mother's Day weekend meant bigger crowds at U.S. airports.

Americans hit the road for Mother's Day, setting a new pandemic-era air travel record over the holiday weekend, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Just more than 1.7 million people passed through airport checkpoints Sunday, TSA announced, the most since March of last year, when air travel began to shrink because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday's mark broke a previous record set two days earlier by an estimated 4,500.

Friday's record saw 1.7 million people screened, topping the 1.64 million air travelers recorded a day earlier.

Despite reaching new highs two days apart, airport crowds were still smaller than before the pandemic, with Sunday's count down 29% from the same Sunday two years ago.

Even so, air travel has been growing since hitting rock bottom in April of last year. The seven-day moving average of U.S. travelers surpassed the period around Easter, which fell on April 4, while also setting a new pandemic-era high.

Airlines say most of the people taking to the skies are leisure travelers on domestic flights.