Say Goodbye To Covid, TSA Is Hiring 6000 Screeners For Big Summer Travel Surge

The TSA, which manages security at most U.S. airports, is looking to hire 6000 screeners because they “expect to screen a higher number of travelers regularly by the summer months.”

Based on anticipated seasonal travel trends in the months ahead and the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations for the general public, TSA has launched national efforts to recruit new employees in support of screening operations at approximately 430 airports nationwide. Targeted recruitment, virtual job fairs, and opportunities in dozens of cities have already been announced for individuals seeking part-time and full-time opportunities.

Domestic travel should recover significantly, though international travel is a long way off,

  • Thanks to closed borders
  • And a U.S. testing regime for return travel which may remain in place despite lulls is cases and hospitalizations

There’s a worry over faster spread from the B.1.1.7 U.K. variant, and reduced effectiveness against vaccines from the South African variant. But there’s real reason for optimism that even with a virus that spreads faster, and even with one that can better evade antibodies, the summer at least should be ‘pretty normal.’

This seems partly due to seasonal effects. Remember that in the moderate climates of the U.S. Northeast and Europe the summer was fairly Covid-quiet. It was hot regions of the country where people headed indoors that the virus spread quickly. And this was against the backdrop where there wasn’t very much pre-existing immunity, so we couldn’t fully take advantage of seasonality.

Last June I predicted,

There should be a widely available vaccine next year. It could even be approved before the end of the year. …We could have mass vaccinations in spring, then summer 2021 could be normal.

Needless to say this was a very controversial viewpoint at the time, one which I took a great deal of flak for. To be clear I hedged my view – I did not claim to be certain – and I am not certain the direction of the pandemic now.

It’s still a question how much the virus will race back for late fall and winter. It’s urgent to get vaccinations out broadly both to mitigate this and to reduce the number of people infected which limits the opportunity for further mutations. We’ll need the biomedical heroes of vaccination to keep up their incredible work pace for second generation vaccines that are aligned to the virus as it mutates.

(HT: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. So apparently you’ve recovered enough from the trauma of Ted Cruz taking his kids to Mexico to move on to other subjects. Good to see. lol Hope he doesn’t ruin your day like that again soon. 😉

  2. Say Goodbye To Covid
    Say “Hello and Please Sit Down and Stay Awhile” To Covid is more like it.
    This virus is never going away. Get used to the word ‘endemic’.
    And prepare yourselves for these concepts:
    1) Coerced vaccination
    2) Masks required the second you step outside your door, regardless of anything, including in your car
    3) Vaccination passports
    4) Continuing restrictions on freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, and free speech (particularly anything questioning the government)
    5): Migration of people to freer states and countries where people can live freely.

  3. I also take issue with ‘pretty normal’.
    Go outside and walk around. Do things look ‘pretty normal’ out there?
    Go to a restaurant. Pretty normal?
    Things are abnormal.
    Some of us will never believe that abnormal=normal. Your ‘new normal’ is a permanent ‘abnormal’.
    Start believing nonsense and you are open to having your human rights cancelled. Be thankful in the coming years when you read about freedom-loving individuals fighting for the restoration of basic human rights. They will also be thinking about you.

  4. @Billy Bob as soon as we achieve herd immunity all those restrictions go away. Everyone including governments want life back to normal. The restrictions on movements between countries will remain for years. That’s because the rich countries bought up this years and likely a good part of next year’s vaccines. The poor countries will continue to have COVID rage and mutate until they can achieve herd immunity. Restrictions on travel are needed to slow the spread of new variants.

  5. Local restrictions will go away as soon as the number of cases will fall further (with exceptions of a few states). Federal restrictions and international travel is another story.

  6. The restrictions will slowly disappear, though it will take time in poorer countries, particularly island nations. Vaccination for travel will likely be as it is for yellow fever, though in an electronic format–show proof of having a shot before entering high endemic areas. Covid will remain at a low but steady level in developed countries and probably an annual (?) vaccine will be included with a flu shot. Diseases like plague, Legionnaire’s or hantavirus rarely disappear, they get pushed to the margins, and so will thus one. This story has happened many times but rarely with such a worldwide and (mostly) organized response.. Out of it perhaps we’ll remain better prepared for the next epidemic, and we certainly have made advances in how to deal with that when it comes. At least that’s something, but at what a cost.

  7. It will soon be demonstrated conclusively that vaccinated people are not a risk to each other or to unvaccinated people. Thus vaccinated people will be able to travel and return to many normal activities. Indeed, once half the people have been vaccinated, we will put enormous pressure on authorities to stop restricting us. I can see proof of vaccination as becoming necessary for a time for things like public transportation, attendance at indoor sports events and concerts, attendance at in person classes in schools and universities, jobs that involve close contact with the public, and of course international travel. The first purpose of getting vaccinated is to not die of COVID. The second purpose is to not have our lives ruled and ruined by COVID.

    The key to putting an end to the COVID misery is the collapse of death and hospitalization rates, which will come about in the next few months with mass vaccination. Nobody should really care if COVID is still around creating a certain amount of asymptomatic or mild illness. It is the catastrophic death toll and the overwhelming of hospital facilities that require restrictive measures for the time being.

  8. Practically speaking, it will be challenging for the airlines to grow seats and destinations in such a short time period. Moreover, the mental mindset of 300M ppl will have to change O/N. Yes, I think ppl will be going to the movie theater and eat at restaurants but those are impulsive purchases. Most families plan their summers many months in advance. Few will want buy expensive airline tickets at a high cost. If close in booking is very cheap, this may be different. I’m guessing that folks will be driving to their summer vacation destination rather than flying.

  9. I find their optimism difficult to support. Things could go back to normal in early 2022 maybe, but by June 2021? That seems a stretch to me.

    People not flying is at least as much because of widespread caution as it is because of restrictions. And a lot of companies are finding that business travel is not as necessary as they once thought it would be.

    But I can see a “significant” increase off of lows we have now. Still, nowhere near where we were in 2019.

  10. We won’t return to normal as long as the sheep continue to believe the lies and falsehoods spit out by our “leaders”. There’s simply too many non-thinkers in society and the authoritarians who love the controls engendered by this hoax, are reluctant to give up their power.

  11. @James You are 100% correct. Too many have blind faith in elected public servants. Fortunately the BS is slowly beginning to be exposed, look at King Cuomo in NY. It took 9 months but people are starting to discover the truth.

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