We’re Not Leaving on a Jet Plane

Park bench, Philosopher's Path, Kyoto, Japan in autumn
There’s an old song that goes, “I’m leaving on a jet plane/don’t know when I’ll be back again.” I guess, according to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA,) none of us are living the song these days. Because of all of the COVID issues, the TSA recently released travel data. Due to COVID-19, they have published passenger volumes for TSA checkpoint screening in 2020 versus 2019.
 Traveler Throughput
 Traveler Throughput
2019, same weekday
 June 1  353,261  2,499,002  -86%
 May 18  244,176  2,615,691  -91%
 May 4  163,692  2,470,969  -93%
 April 20  99,344  2,594,171  -96%
 April 6  108,310  2,384,091  -95%
 March 30  154,080  2,360,053  -93%
 March 16  1,257,823  2,465,709  -49%
 March 2  2,089,641  2,257,920  -7%

 You can see from the data that not a lot of us are traveling these days.

For many of you, travel comes as a once a year perk. Maybe it’s great to get to go and see the family around the holidays or, if you’re especially lucky, it means you get to take a yearly jaunt off to some exotic location for an annual recharge of the battery. For many folks, many of my friends and colleagues in fact, it is their livelihood. Travel means life. There are a lot of travel photographers completely out of work right now because of this. It’s going to change the way we see the world too, as grounded photographers mean we don’t get a glimpse into what we would normally view. Lately anyway, it seems like I have been seeing a lot of lone people posing by windows rather than the usual travelers in busy airports, white sandy beaches, late winter ski runs, or European castle highlights. It’s hard not to think about the things we’re collectively missing, even if only vicariously.
An interesting thing about the chart too is that it seems like it’s picking up just a little bit. At least, from the looks of it, June is going to bring about more travel than the past few months. On a personal note, my travel plans have been put on hold for just a little bit. I have been keeping myself occupied taking shots of things near home and sending my work off for different opportunities. A lot has been going on in my little world, just none of it happening in points afar these days.
Until next time…

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