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SumChristianus
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TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 1:31 pm

While it's all publically available from the TSA website: https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus/passenger-throughput I've put together a spreadsheet with a bit of graphs and some more day to day comparison.

We've been flat to down (getting slightly worse) this week so far but since a low Easter week of 3% to 4% of normal passenger screenings are now between 6-7% of normal. That means awful demand still, but with absolutely massive airline cuts loads are on their way back to 50% or so (with huge variation between flights). Standby passengers, from a few sources I've heard here and elsewhere are about normal, but there's, as has been mentioned, a pretty big increase in dead-heading crew. Also note that flight loads, due to many people taking longer itineraries with more segments due to the flight cutbacks, will be higher than the simple increase in passenger screenings may suggest as screenings don't then equal boardings.

For all in the industry, I hope and pray things recover soon and fast (and for us), but I think that even though it's painful to watch these horrible numbers it's an interesting thing still to watch when everything else on here is sad and depressing.

I plan to keep this updated and will hopefully add some more comparisons and info un the future.

Here it is: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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Midwestindy
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 3:16 pm

SumChristianus wrote:
While it's all publically available from the TSA website: https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus/passenger-throughput I've put together a spreadsheet with a bit of graphs and some more day to day comparison.

We've been flat to down (getting slightly worse) this week so far

Here it is: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing


Good graphics, I'll point out that numbers aren't getting worse this week. Air travel recovery won't be linear, as certain days of the week always have low values, however if you go by week over week each day has shown substantial increase over the week prior
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Brickell305
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 3:33 pm

Thanks for putting this together. I always appreciate when threads are data driven. However, I wouldn't look to TSA pass through data for signs of a recovery. I think the best way to gauge recovery is by looking at the actions of the airlines themselves. Airlines have the data they need to know how much capacity is needed in each market ,and the staffing levels they require. If demand picks up significantly, you'll see it reflected in increased capacity. Re staffing, while they cannot furlough staff, a significant increase in demand will see airlines stop pushing workarounds like encouraging voluntary leave, mandatory unpaid time off, etc. I know it's frustrating but this situation truly requires a wait and see approach. Any significant increase in demand in air travel will be obvious by the response from the airlines.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 3:47 pm

Brickell305 wrote:
However, I wouldn't look to TSA pass through data for signs of a recovery. I think the best way to gauge recovery is by looking at the actions of the airlines themselves. Airlines have the data they need to know how much capacity is needed in each market...


Do U.S. airlines report their passenger counts every day? Do you think airlines will continue to add flights if passengers aren't boarding them?
 
Brickell305
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 3:57 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Brickell305 wrote:
However, I wouldn't look to TSA pass through data for signs of a recovery. I think the best way to gauge recovery is by looking at the actions of the airlines themselves. Airlines have the data they need to know how much capacity is needed in each market...


Do U.S. airlines report their passenger counts every day? Do you think airlines will continue to add flights if passengers aren't boarding them?

That was exactly my point. Airlines will add flights once there is a significant increase in demand.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 4:03 pm

I appreciate the data. Please continue as it is the only daily/weekly big picture report I am seeing.

Although, the numbers are heart breaking.

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Tkt96
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 4:07 pm

Any chance you can change the "change vs previous day" column to "Change vs same day in previous week"? Friday vs last Friday....Saturday vs last Saturday. That would seem to show better information.
Last edited by Tkt96 on Wed May 06, 2020 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 4:07 pm

Brickell305 wrote:
Thanks for putting this together. I always appreciate when threads are data driven. However, I wouldn't look to TSA pass through data for signs of a recovery. I think the best way to gauge recovery is by looking at the actions of the airlines themselves. Airlines have the data they need to know how much capacity is needed in each market ,and the staffing levels they require. If demand picks up significantly, you'll see it reflected in increased capacity. Re staffing, while they cannot furlough staff, a significant increase in demand will see airlines stop pushing workarounds like encouraging voluntary leave, mandatory unpaid time off, etc. I know it's frustrating but this situation truly requires a wait and see approach. Any significant increase in demand in air travel will be obvious by the response from the airlines.

Very true, but I think what the OP is getting an that as a proxy for non-publically available data, or reporting data that lags by weeks if not months, TSA screening data really the only best thing than the general public has access to in order to see what is happening from a rough approximation of how many people are traveling on a daily basis.

Its not exact, but its what we have to work with to give a rough order of magnitude.

Airlines aren't going to share details around daily traffic figures, advanced bookings, cancellation rates, at any level of granularity. They will either give high level figures in corporate-non speak/word salad/generalities in interviews, or report the bare minimum in require filings.

Advanced schedules more than a month out are completely unreliable indicator either since they have not pulled down the default/pre-COVID schedules particularly for domestic flying. They are making close in-adjustments as this evolves.

So, this helps indicate if more people are traveling and the answer is yes. I suspect this is going to trend-up slowly week over week, and we will see a bit of a bump in June. If we get to 20% of last year by June that would be pretty significant in my opinion.
 
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 4:11 pm

I would also add, we may want to look at this on a weekly average, rolling 7-day, or compare similar day of the week.

Right now Friday, Sunday, and to a lesser extent Thursdays are the peak travel days of the week.
Tues & Wed are always the slowest days of the week even in normal times.
Mondays are way skewed down now due to the complete lack of any of the typical business travel.
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 4:30 pm

Tkt96 wrote:
Any chance you can change the "change vs previous day" column to "Change vs same day in previous week"? Friday vs last Friday....Saturday vs last Saturday. That would seem to show better information.


Yes, working on it. I put a new tab in the sheet with a sort of chart, but I'll need to fix something in it before I can put out Week> Week comparisons
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SumChristianus
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 5:03 pm

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
I would also add, we may want to look at this on a weekly average, rolling 7-day, or compare similar day of the week.

Right now Friday, Sunday, and to a lesser extent Thursdays are the peak travel days of the week.
Tues & Wed are always the slowest days of the week even in normal times.
Mondays are way skewed down now due to the complete lack of any of the typical business travel.



That's very interesting about Mondays being low, hadn't thought of that.

New sheet added with week over week changes for each day of the week. Still figuring out how to graph it better.

Working on a rolling chart as well. Thank you all for your suggestions and comments.
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ethernal
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 5:20 pm

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
Brickell305 wrote:
Airlines aren't going to share details around daily traffic figures, advanced bookings, cancellation rates, at any level of granularity. They will either give high level figures in corporate-non speak/word salad/generalities in interviews, or report the bare minimum in require filings.

Advanced schedules more than a month out are completely unreliable indicator either since they have not pulled down the default/pre-COVID schedules particularly for domestic flying. They are making close in-adjustments as this evolves.


And advanced bookings probably aren't even that great of an indicator of underlying demand given the new "no change fee and low fares" environment. I have about 15 opportunistic bookings I've made based on low prices for nonstop flights that are typically expensive. For July 4th travel alone, I have 3 different options I've booked in the past month: one long-haul international, one short-haul international (nonstop), and one domestic option. I have no idea whether or not the first two options will even be flown, and depending on the environment, I may not even take the third. From an advanced bookings perspective things look healthier than they are (at least as it relates to me).
 
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 5:25 pm

I cant non rev to Florida this weekend.

Full or oversold on few flights remaining
 
ethernal
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 5:50 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
I cant non rev to Florida this weekend.

Full or oversold on few flights remaining


Well, "full" is a loose term given that most cabins are restricted to a maximum of around 60% of capacity (at least on the legacies). Even then, unless they are massively oversold, I doubt many will leave full on day-of-departure as the no-show rate remains very high.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 5:58 pm

I do know that a handlful of regional planes came out of storage this week, for return to the line after inspection. Now, I have no idea if they are replacing birds already on the line, or if there is a small increase in activity coming, that is above my pay grade.
But I do see it as reason for cautious optimism.
 
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 6:38 pm

Living here in ATL, we're used to really high numbers of passengers being reported. I tried to relay to a neighbor just how low the number of passengers flying was at the time. When I noted it was 100,000 for the day, they took it as 100,000 through ATL, not through the entire system. They simply could not comprehend only 100,000 passengers flew on the previous day.
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32andBelow
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Wed May 06, 2020 7:28 pm

I have a feeling just and august are going to be approaching the realm of slightly busy.
 
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Thu May 07, 2020 12:05 pm

Let's hope you're right!
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SumChristianus
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Fri May 08, 2020 12:30 pm

Highest % of normal yet was recorded yesterday 7.5% of the same day last year. 190,863 screened. Up 26% so far this week over last week and 23% yesterday over last Thursday.

Chart updated with change over same day the previous week, color coding and trendline: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
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PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Fri May 08, 2020 2:20 pm

I think today (Friday) may have a chance of breaking 200,000 passengers again. Fridays are typically the busiest travel day of the week and its Mothers Day this weekend.

Anecdotally, I am hearing of people in my circle now booking travel again for June, for family gatherings and commitments.
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 1:07 pm

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
I think today (Friday) may have a chance of breaking 200,000 passengers again. Fridays are typically the busiest travel day of the week and its Mothers Day this weekend.

Anecdotally, I am hearing of people in my circle now booking travel again for June, for family gatherings and commitments.


215,444 screenings on Friday! - Nailed it PSU.DTW.SCE

8.3% of normal - picking up the pace. Up 25.6% week over week yesterday and a return to around March 27th numbers. Around double the screenings of Friday three weeks ago.

Let's hope this continues.

Anecdotally, a TSA agent said yesterday felt by far the busiest they had had in a while, and they see demand increase as driven by leisure travel with some beaches opening back up.
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washingtonflyer
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 1:58 pm

I've been grounded since March 2, but now have two trips definitely on the books: SNA in August (well off), and MKE in 2 weeks. The big trip for a client is likely going to be in July when I have to travel to, yes, China..... Finding routings to where I am going on 1W carriers has been a challenge.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 2:12 pm

SumChristianus wrote:
PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
I think today (Friday) may have a chance of breaking 200,000 passengers again. Fridays are typically the busiest travel day of the week and its Mothers Day this weekend.

Anecdotally, I am hearing of people in my circle now booking travel again for June, for family gatherings and commitments.


215,444 screenings on Friday! - Nailed it PSU.DTW.SCE

8.3% of normal - picking up the pace. Up 25.6% week over week yesterday and a return to around March 27th numbers. Around double the screenings of Friday three weeks ago.

Let's hope this continues.

Anecdotally, a TSA agent said yesterday felt by far the busiest they had had in a while, and they see demand increase as driven by leisure travel with some beaches opening back up.


Florida travel is what to watch, I know a few people that have gone down to Florida in the past week. I expect Florida travel will be picking up in the coming weeks, as many people own property in the state and are likely looking for some sort of getaway.

With most of the state reopening bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and beaches, once other people see their friends and family vacationing in Florida, they will likely feel more comfortable doing the same.
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PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 2:30 pm

Yep....and we still are weeks away from consistent summer weather in the north, heck it’s still snowing.

We will probably double this number pretty quick by the end of the month.

Next step function is when any meaningful domestic business travel resumes but that is still 6-8 weeks out at this point.
 
lat41
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 3:32 pm

I am hopeful as well but the gorilla in the room is the possibility that the Covid-19 will shoot up again as more people start interacting. Then sadly, we would go back to square 1. Time will tell.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 6:26 pm

Thanks for putting this together, will be interesting to watch in the coming weeks and months provided that you are able to keep it updated.
 
flyby519
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 6:32 pm

How long til airlines can add a new fare bucket that leaves an empty seat between you and the next person vs sitting 3x3 in a normal config for a cheaper ticket price?
 
32andBelow
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 7:30 pm

flyby519 wrote:
How long til airlines can add a new fare bucket that leaves an empty seat between you and the next person vs sitting 3x3 in a normal config for a cheaper ticket price?

Frontier already tried and got absolutely Rekt in the press
 
bigb
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 7:52 pm

Loads on my two flights were 58% and 72% since I’ve been tracking pax numbers that I’ve flown. That’s up from single digits from the end of March.
 
flyby519
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 8:52 pm

32andBelow wrote:
flyby519 wrote:
How long til airlines can add a new fare bucket that leaves an empty seat between you and the next person vs sitting 3x3 in a normal config for a cheaper ticket price?

Frontier already tried and got absolutely Rekt in the press


Ick. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out when flights are “full” with a middle seat empty
 
joeblow10
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 8:58 pm

lat41 wrote:
I am hopeful as well but the gorilla in the room is the possibility that the Covid-19 will shoot up again as more people start interacting. Then sadly, we would go back to square 1. Time will tell.


There is no doubt case numbers will go up, but we're going to have to learn to live with the virus. Taking basic precautions like wearing a mask onboard, etc. will hopefully slow the spread

Flattening the curve was never intended to "eliminate" the virus. It'll be circulating until herd immunity or a vaccine is reached, whichever is first. At some point, everybody is going to have to go about their lives as best they can, and hopefully air travel can somewhat recover
 
smartplane
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sat May 09, 2020 9:14 pm

lat41 wrote:
I am hopeful as well but the gorilla in the room is the possibility that the Covid-19 will shoot up again as more people start interacting. Then sadly, we would go back to square 1. Time will tell.

WHO advice to IATA was for a minimum one seat space beside, and staggered behind and in front, with no aisle seats used (to protect from passengers accessing toilets, and crew movements). No food or drink services. Space rules relaxed for families.

Some airlines don't even seem to be following the less rigorous IATA guidance.

So long as there are no air travel related outbreaks, more flights will be reinstated, and prices will come down. However, if there are further outbreaks traced to air travel, there will be costly regulations instead of guidance. If the outbreaks are airline specific, the consequences will be serious.

Insurers performing mental gymnastics writing and re-writing terms and conditions almost daily. Check your travel insurance very carefully, including the insurers ability to change after purchase, if country / states change COVID status, or new variants discovered.
 
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SumChristianus
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Sun May 10, 2020 6:57 pm

Saturday's numbers out: 169,580 boardings. Down from Friday (215K) but up 26% from a week earlier. Also day by day we're trending ever so slightly up in traffic as a % of normal..
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

For this past week as a whole we're up 26%. Still awful numbers but there might be a chance that UA's fear for example, that they'd transport less passengers in May as a whole than they did on a single day last year, might be pessimistic. We might hit near twice that at this rate.

Flying myself today: Indianapolis to Chicago (half full) out of 70 seats and Chicago to Austin was a third full. Further segments today are a third to a half full. (it's a wonky routing). TSA people again say its slightly trending up but airports are quiet!!! today.

jetmatt777 wrote:
Thanks for putting this together, will be interesting to watch in the coming weeks and months provided that you are able to keep it updated.

Plan to!!! With all due respect Enilria's report has become too depressing to watch that closely. This at least gives some "OCD" like hope!
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SumChristianus
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 2:49 pm

Sunday data out: 200,815 passenger screenings
Up in count from Saturday (169k to 201k) but down slightly in % to 8.3% of normal. 18% up week over week.

AA is back up to 15-16% of normal https://twitter.com/krisvancleave/statu ... 64512?s=20 after being about 4-5% three weeks ago.
It does seem high compared to everyone else, but they have cut less than UA/DL
Mainline load factor of 41% with their cuts

I'd like to see WN's numbers, as they have some still crazy high capacity still out there compared to other carriers.

It probably includes a lot of non-revs but hub-to-hub UA flights have been going out very full. Looking at departure signage, and some other info, non-revs have really gone up this past week as well. across the board.
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N766UA
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 2:58 pm

SumChristianus wrote:
Saturday's numbers out: 169,580 boardings. Down from Friday (215K) but up 26% from a week earlier. Also day by day we're trending ever so slightly up in traffic as a % of normal..
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

For this past week as a whole we're up 26%. Still awful numbers but there might be a chance that UA's fear for example, that they'd transport less passengers in May as a whole than they did on a single day last year, might be pessimistic. We might hit near twice that at this rate.!


It still effectively rounds to 0.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 3:00 pm

The other thing that I'm sure is very important to the airlines is how many of these passengers are flying now on rescheduled flights using "credits" from cancelled travel from the past two months versus how many are booking new travel. More importantly how are forward bookings and collecting new money versus credits trending?
 
32andBelow
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 3:57 pm

N766UA wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
Saturday's numbers out: 169,580 boardings. Down from Friday (215K) but up 26% from a week earlier. Also day by day we're trending ever so slightly up in traffic as a % of normal..
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

For this past week as a whole we're up 26%. Still awful numbers but there might be a chance that UA's fear for example, that they'd transport less passengers in May as a whole than they did on a single day last year, might be pessimistic. We might hit near twice that at this rate.!


It still effectively rounds to 0.

this is such a. Dumb take, obviously we have to go through every number between the bottom and normal. We are clearly heading in the right direction. And if you maintain 20% gains it compounds very quickly. That’s the current trend and I hope it continues.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 4:06 pm

PSU.DTW.SCE wrote:
The other thing that I'm sure is very important to the airlines is how many of these passengers are flying now on rescheduled flights using "credits" from cancelled travel from the past two months versus how many are booking new travel. More importantly how are forward bookings and collecting new money versus credits trending?


Yes, although having a ton of credits on the books isn't optimal either. Credits help with cashflow; they are effectively an interest-free loan from customers to the carriers. But it does not seem like cash availability is the biggest concern for the carriers; they have access to cash in other ways (e.g., leasebacks of aircraft). It seems like a booking is a positive regardless of how it's paid for.
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joeblow10
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 4:11 pm

32andBelow wrote:
N766UA wrote:
SumChristianus wrote:
Saturday's numbers out: 169,580 boardings. Down from Friday (215K) but up 26% from a week earlier. Also day by day we're trending ever so slightly up in traffic as a % of normal..
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

For this past week as a whole we're up 26%. Still awful numbers but there might be a chance that UA's fear for example, that they'd transport less passengers in May as a whole than they did on a single day last year, might be pessimistic. We might hit near twice that at this rate.!


It still effectively rounds to 0.

this is such a. Dumb take, obviously we have to go through every number between the bottom and normal. We are clearly heading in the right direction. And if you maintain 20% gains it compounds very quickly. That’s the current trend and I hope it continues.


Yes but, as some have pointed out, with such limited capacity in place, there is no way to maintain a 20% compounding growth rate at this point. The growth rate is bound to decrease in the next few weeks, especially with carriers blocking off seats.

It's a chicken and the egg problem. Carriers don't want to add capacity back until they see demand, but they can't see demand in some cases until they add capacity. If I can't get from ATL-SEA this week on UA with a reasonable layover for example, that's pretty telling of a broader issue that's going to have to be resolved capacity wise. By far and away WN seems to be in the best position with regards to that, they're the only one I seem to still be able to find a healthy amount of connections on. AA is a close second, but UA/DL lag way behind at this point. Haven't really paid attention to the LCCs/ULCCs on this
 
32andBelow
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Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 4:36 pm

joeblow10 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
N766UA wrote:

It still effectively rounds to 0.

this is such a. Dumb take, obviously we have to go through every number between the bottom and normal. We are clearly heading in the right direction. And if you maintain 20% gains it compounds very quickly. That’s the current trend and I hope it continues.


Yes but, as some have pointed out, with such limited capacity in place, there is no way to maintain a 20% compounding growth rate at this point. The growth rate is bound to decrease in the next few weeks, especially with carriers blocking off seats. And future schedules are built off of more flights. Most of the major cuts are being done relatively close in

It's a chicken and the egg problem. Carriers don't want to add capacity back until they see demand, but they can't see demand in some cases until they add capacity. If I can't get from ATL-SEA this week on UA with a reasonable layover for example, that's pretty telling of a broader issue that's going to have to be resolved capacity wise. By far and away WN seems to be in the best position with regards to that, they're the only one I seem to still be able to find a healthy amount of connections on. AA is a close second, but UA/DL lag way behind at this point. Haven't really paid attention to the LCCs/ULCCs on this

When the airlines start to run out of seats they are going to reinstate flights. June already has more flights than may on many carriers and July is basically untouched. There’s really no limitation on advanced bookings further than 3-7 weeks.
 
Osubuckeyes
Posts: 1868
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:05 am

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 4:56 pm

32andBelow wrote:
joeblow10 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:

this is such a. Dumb take, obviously we have to go through every number between the bottom and normal. We are clearly heading in the right direction. And if you maintain 20% gains it compounds very quickly. That’s the current trend and I hope it continues.


Yes but, as some have pointed out, with such limited capacity in place, there is no way to maintain a 20% compounding growth rate at this point. The growth rate is bound to decrease in the next few weeks, especially with carriers blocking off seats. And future schedules are built off of more flights. Most of the major cuts are being done relatively close in

It's a chicken and the egg problem. Carriers don't want to add capacity back until they see demand, but they can't see demand in some cases until they add capacity. If I can't get from ATL-SEA this week on UA with a reasonable layover for example, that's pretty telling of a broader issue that's going to have to be resolved capacity wise. By far and away WN seems to be in the best position with regards to that, they're the only one I seem to still be able to find a healthy amount of connections on. AA is a close second, but UA/DL lag way behind at this point. Haven't really paid attention to the LCCs/ULCCs on this

When the airlines start to run out of seats they are going to reinstate flights. June already has more flights than may on many carriers and July is basically untouched. There’s really no limitation on advanced bookings further than 3-7 weeks.


Isn't a significant amount of business travel booked <4 weeks out? I think that gets to the krux of his argument. The airlines have to leave enough capacity to gauge whether demand is coming back or not otherwise they are behind the curve... I don't think that is necessarily an issue for May, but could be in June/early July in which flights have been cut to bare bones.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 4494
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 5:05 pm

Osubuckeyes wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
joeblow10 wrote:

Yes but, as some have pointed out, with such limited capacity in place, there is no way to maintain a 20% compounding growth rate at this point. The growth rate is bound to decrease in the next few weeks, especially with carriers blocking off seats. And future schedules are built off of more flights. Most of the major cuts are being done relatively close in

It's a chicken and the egg problem. Carriers don't want to add capacity back until they see demand, but they can't see demand in some cases until they add capacity. If I can't get from ATL-SEA this week on UA with a reasonable layover for example, that's pretty telling of a broader issue that's going to have to be resolved capacity wise. By far and away WN seems to be in the best position with regards to that, they're the only one I seem to still be able to find a healthy amount of connections on. AA is a close second, but UA/DL lag way behind at this point. Haven't really paid attention to the LCCs/ULCCs on this

When the airlines start to run out of seats they are going to reinstate flights. June already has more flights than may on many carriers and July is basically untouched. There’s really no limitation on advanced bookings further than 3-7 weeks.


Isn't a significant amount of business travel booked <4 weeks out? I think that gets to the krux of his argument. The airlines have to leave enough capacity to gauge whether demand is coming back or not otherwise they are behind the curve... I don't think that is necessarily an issue for May, but could be in June/early July in which flights have been cut to bare bones.

June hasn’t been cut nearly as much as may. Business travel is overrated compared to other travel. That’s why you see huge travel numbers in July and not February.

I’m not saying we are going to be back to normal in a couple months but I think we can be breaking 1,000,000 sooner than you think. Like by the end of summer.
 
joeblow10
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 pm

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 5:28 pm

Osubuckeyes wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
joeblow10 wrote:

Yes but, as some have pointed out, with such limited capacity in place, there is no way to maintain a 20% compounding growth rate at this point. The growth rate is bound to decrease in the next few weeks, especially with carriers blocking off seats. And future schedules are built off of more flights. Most of the major cuts are being done relatively close in

It's a chicken and the egg problem. Carriers don't want to add capacity back until they see demand, but they can't see demand in some cases until they add capacity. If I can't get from ATL-SEA this week on UA with a reasonable layover for example, that's pretty telling of a broader issue that's going to have to be resolved capacity wise. By far and away WN seems to be in the best position with regards to that, they're the only one I seem to still be able to find a healthy amount of connections on. AA is a close second, but UA/DL lag way behind at this point. Haven't really paid attention to the LCCs/ULCCs on this

When the airlines start to run out of seats they are going to reinstate flights. June already has more flights than may on many carriers and July is basically untouched. There’s really no limitation on advanced bookings further than 3-7 weeks.


Isn't a significant amount of business travel booked <4 weeks out? I think that gets to the krux of his argument. The airlines have to leave enough capacity to gauge whether demand is coming back or not otherwise they are behind the curve... I don't think that is necessarily an issue for May, but could be in June/early July in which flights have been cut to bare bones.


Right... and business travel might be a comparatively smaller % of total travel in the summer, but it's contribution to revenues is still hugely significant for the big guys - meaning, airlines are likely to continue to pare down supply.

It's important to also note - June is still significantly restricted connectivity wise. Anecdotal, but 1 option per day to get from MCO-SEA or ATL-PHX on UA shows just how limited it's become. Yes, carriers haven't pared down July yet, but once they do, moving all those passengers who are now booking onto the few remaining flights is going to take up a significant portion of remaining seats (i.e., there won't be much left to sell). That might be good for LFs, but it's going to hinder the growth rate of pax. Planes are parked in the desert and pilots are being displaced - the carriers won't be able to keep the capacity they have in place for July or beyond. I'm pretty sure DL/UA still have a 90-100% domestic capacity plan loaded for July onwards... that's obviously going to be obliterated, even if demand returns
 
32andBelow
Posts: 4494
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 5:42 pm

Capacity will not be a limiting factor. If it is Southwest Alaska and JetBlue are going to come in and crush them. They don’t let that happen.
 
Osubuckeyes
Posts: 1868
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:05 am

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 6:14 pm

32andBelow wrote:
Capacity will not be a limiting factor. If it is Southwest Alaska and JetBlue are going to come in and crush them. They don’t let that happen.


I actually think that is exactly what will happen. If we ambitiously assume ~20% growth rate we'll be at ~420k passengers by the first week of June it wouldn't surprise me to find out AA/UA/DL all running pretty high LFs. The complicated thing will be getting capacity where its needed the most, the carriers may be at 10-20% of normal capacity, but due to CARES they have to continue to serve places like BGR/ORH/SBN etc... (smaller communities where capacity isn't necessarily needed). For the US3 they will have decent flexibility in terms of up-gauging, but that to some extent will be limited.

UA at PHX is an interesting example... The June schedule is an extension of May. 2x to DEN (2-A319), 1x to ORD (738), 1x to IAH (E175), and 1x to SFO (E175). With substantially limited connecting opportunities, and such little capacity I think its easy to imagine a scenario where in certain markets some of the US3 really get crushed by WN, AS, B6 as you say.

An extension of that thought is how does that play to the competitive balance of markets with multiple hub carriers. Could be an interesting dynamic if AA is able to somehow ramp up ORD before United is able to. Or if WN in DEN really damages UA due to their consistent higher level of maintained service.
 
joeblow10
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:58 pm

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 6:20 pm

Osubuckeyes wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Capacity will not be a limiting factor. If it is Southwest Alaska and JetBlue are going to come in and crush them. They don’t let that happen.


I actually think that is exactly what will happen. If we ambitiously assume ~20% growth rate we'll be at ~420k passengers by the first week of June it wouldn't surprise me to find out AA/UA/DL all running pretty high LFs. The complicated thing will be getting capacity where its needed the most, the carriers may be at 10-20% of normal capacity, but due to CARES they have to continue to serve places like BGR/ORH/SBN etc... (smaller communities where capacity isn't necessarily needed). For the US3 they will have decent flexibility in terms of up-gauging, but that to some extent will be limited.

UA at PHX is an interesting example... The June schedule is an extension of May. 2x to DEN (2-A319), 1x to ORD (738), 1x to IAH (E175), and 1x to SFO (E175). With substantially limited connecting opportunities, and such little capacity I think its easy to imagine a scenario where in certain markets some of the US3 really get crushed by WN, AS, B6 as you say.

An extension of that thought is how does that play to the competitive balance of markets with multiple hub carriers. Could be an interesting dynamic if AA is able to somehow ramp up ORD before United is able to. Or if WN in DEN really damages UA due to their consistent higher level of maintained service.


I think you're exactly right. WN always seems to emerge from crises comparatively stronger than competition. I would somewhat boldly claim AA is also in a unique position to emerge from this in a much stronger position. They've kept more capacity than DL/UA, and I'm guessing Dougie and co. are betting this will be over (or at least, people will be over it) by mid-to-late 2020 and can ramp up faster than the competition.

Of course, if it doesn't... might as well get your tickets and popcorn for bankruptcy court before they are all gone.
 
User avatar
Midwestindy
Posts: 4814
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:56 am

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 7:04 pm

joeblow10 wrote:
Osubuckeyes wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Capacity will not be a limiting factor. If it is Southwest Alaska and JetBlue are going to come in and crush them. They don’t let that happen.


I actually think that is exactly what will happen. If we ambitiously assume ~20% growth rate we'll be at ~420k passengers by the first week of June it wouldn't surprise me to find out AA/UA/DL all running pretty high LFs. The complicated thing will be getting capacity where its needed the most, the carriers may be at 10-20% of normal capacity, but due to CARES they have to continue to serve places like BGR/ORH/SBN etc... (smaller communities where capacity isn't necessarily needed). For the US3 they will have decent flexibility in terms of up-gauging, but that to some extent will be limited.

UA at PHX is an interesting example... The June schedule is an extension of May. 2x to DEN (2-A319), 1x to ORD (738), 1x to IAH (E175), and 1x to SFO (E175). With substantially limited connecting opportunities, and such little capacity I think its easy to imagine a scenario where in certain markets some of the US3 really get crushed by WN, AS, B6 as you say.

An extension of that thought is how does that play to the competitive balance of markets with multiple hub carriers. Could be an interesting dynamic if AA is able to somehow ramp up ORD before United is able to. Or if WN in DEN really damages UA due to their consistent higher level of maintained service.


I think you're exactly right. WN always seems to emerge from crises comparatively stronger than competition. I would somewhat boldly claim AA is also in a unique position to emerge from this in a much stronger position. They've kept more capacity than DL/UA, and I'm guessing Dougie and co. are betting this will be over (or at least, people will be over it) by mid-to-late 2020 and can ramp up faster than the competition.

Of course, if it doesn't... might as well get your tickets and popcorn for bankruptcy court before they are all gone.


Yep, AA is definitely taking the high risk, high reward approach. Hopefully it works for the employees sake....
Status for 2019/2020: AAdvantage Platinum, Delta Gold, Southwest A-List
 
32andBelow
Posts: 4494
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 7:29 pm

joeblow10 wrote:
Osubuckeyes wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
Capacity will not be a limiting factor. If it is Southwest Alaska and JetBlue are going to come in and crush them. They don’t let that happen.


I actually think that is exactly what will happen. If we ambitiously assume ~20% growth rate we'll be at ~420k passengers by the first week of June it wouldn't surprise me to find out AA/UA/DL all running pretty high LFs. The complicated thing will be getting capacity where its needed the most, the carriers may be at 10-20% of normal capacity, but due to CARES they have to continue to serve places like BGR/ORH/SBN etc... (smaller communities where capacity isn't necessarily needed). For the US3 they will have decent flexibility in terms of up-gauging, but that to some extent will be limited.

UA at PHX is an interesting example... The June schedule is an extension of May. 2x to DEN (2-A319), 1x to ORD (738), 1x to IAH (E175), and 1x to SFO (E175). With substantially limited connecting opportunities, and such little capacity I think its easy to imagine a scenario where in certain markets some of the US3 really get crushed by WN, AS, B6 as you say.

An extension of that thought is how does that play to the competitive balance of markets with multiple hub carriers. Could be an interesting dynamic if AA is able to somehow ramp up ORD before United is able to. Or if WN in DEN really damages UA due to their consistent higher level of maintained service.


I think you're exactly right. WN always seems to emerge from crises comparatively stronger than competition. I would somewhat boldly claim AA is also in a unique position to emerge from this in a much stronger position. They've kept more capacity than DL/UA, and I'm guessing Dougie and co. are betting this will be over (or at least, people will be over it) by mid-to-late 2020 and can ramp up faster than the competition.

Of course, if it doesn't... might as well get your tickets and popcorn for bankruptcy court before they are all gone.

I think all the domestic fleets are pretty much ready to go tomorrow if needed. Anyone being displaced would be off an international fleet.

Alaska, frontier, southwest, jet blue could ramp up instantly.

Alaska has like 20 just sitting at Portland.
 
Miamiairport
Posts: 397
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:14 pm

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 7:34 pm

Not until the Porn Panic subsides do I see business travel returning. Here in the US the media death orgy will continue until November. Therefore I don’t see business travel returning to any significant level until 2021. Planes will be packed by BE fares but that won’t stem the losses.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 4494
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: TSA Screening Numbers - Charts and Comparisons

Mon May 11, 2020 8:02 pm

Miamiairport wrote:
Not until the Porn Panic subsides do I see business travel returning. Here in the US the media death orgy will continue until November. Therefore I don’t see business travel returning to any significant level until 2021. Planes will be packed by BE fares but that won’t stem the losses.

I think the importance of business travel is way overstated on this page. Any ticket bought within 2 weeks is called business travel to an airline. It’s impossible to actually differentiate.

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