The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has screened a record number of passengers this year and anticipates airport security checkpoints nationwide will be busier than ever this holiday travel season.
The season kicks off with Thanksgiving travel, which begins Friday, November 17 and concludes Tuesday, November 28. During the 12-day period, TSA expects to screen 30 million passengers. Historically, the three busiest travel days are the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward. TSA is projecting to screen 2.6 million passengers on Tuesday, November 21; 2.7 million passengers on Wednesday, November 22 and 2.9 million passengers on Sunday, November 26, which will likely be the busiest travel day.
“We expect this holiday season to be our busiest ever. In 2023, we have already seen seven of the top 10 busiest travel days in TSA’s history,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We are ready for the anticipated volumes and are working closely with our airline and airport partners to make sure we are prepared for this busy holiday travel season. We will also do our best to maintain wait time standards of under 10 minutes for TSA PreCheck® lanes and under 30 minutes for standard screening lanes. I am grateful for our dedicated employees who continue to remain vigilant and focused on the mission during this holiday travel season and beyond.”
TSA has recorded multiple days with more than 2.8 million passengers screened so far in 2023. The current record for the heaviest passenger screening volume in TSA history was on Friday, June 30. On that day, Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) screened nearly 2.9 million passengers at checkpoints nationwide. TSA will likely exceed this record this Thanksgiving holiday travel period.
Additionally, there are now more than 17.6 million passengers enrolled in TSA PreCheck, which is the highest amount ever recorded and represents 3.9 million more TSA PreCheck members than there were this time last year.
Travelers should keep these top tips in mind before arriving at the airport: