Precisely 35,475 people passed through security at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Friday, the highest daily total since December 2019, airport officials said late Monday afternoon.

The milestone comes as welcome news to airline companies that took massive financial hits during the height of the pandemic and travelers ready to break out their shelved guidebooks, although maybe not the dad who hates dealing with traffic and would rather not give you a ride to the airport.

Perhaps new flights to the airport helped.

Copa Airlines recently introduced service between BWI and its Central American hometown of Panama City, Panama, adding a perfect stopover for travelers seeking adventure throughout the Americas, including one Baltimore Banner writer.

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Don’t speak Spanish but interested in warmer weather? Well Southwest Airlines, which recently celebrated its own milestone of 30 years operating out of BWI, is adding a direct flight to Belize in March.

And in the most confusing of moves, Frontier Airlines will begin daily flights between BWI and Tampa, Florida, on Nov. 17. It comes a little late for some baseball fans — more than a month after the inevitable American League Championship Series showdown between the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays. But something to keep in mind for next season.

Travel numbers are trending similarly nationwide — TSA screened more passengers this year on 16 out of 24 days in September compared to the same days in 2019.

More than 2.6 million passengers went through TSA checkpoints nationwide on Friday.

That’s a lot of dads driving to a lot of airports.

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Daniel Zawodny covers transportation for The Baltimore Banner as a corps member with Report For America, a national service organization that places emerging journalists with local newsrooms that cover underreported issues.

daniel.zawodny@thebaltimorebanner.com

Daniel Zawodny covers transportation for the The Baltimore Banner as a corps member with Report For America. He is a Baltimore area native and graduated with his master's degree in journalism from American University in 2021. He is bilingual in English and Spanish and previously covered immigration issues. 

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