As the winter holiday travel season commences, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is gearing up for an anticipated increase in passenger volumes. The official travel period, spanning from Thursday, Dec. 21 to Tuesday, Jan. 2, is expected to see security checkpoints at airports busier than the previous year.
Among the days within this period, Thursday, Dec. 21, Friday, Dec. 29, and Monday, Jan. 1 are projected to be the peak days. On these dates, the TSA anticipates screening over 2.5 million passengers each day, marking a 6% rise from the figures in 2022. To put this in perspective, the busiest day in the previous year, Dec. 29, saw nearly 2.4 million passengers going through TSA screenings.
This increase in travel activity is not unprecedented. During the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday period last month, the TSA screened nearly 30 million passengers, setting a new record on Nov. 26 when more than 2.9 million passengers were screened at security checkpoints across the country. This trend underscores the continued recovery and growth in air travel post-pandemic, as more individuals and families choose to travel during the holiday season.
“We are prepared to handle the busy passenger volumes this winter holiday season,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “TSA’s continued success during this record year for travel is a direct result of teamwork, planning and professional execution across the agency, from our frontline employees to those behind the scenes; partnerships with airports and air carriers and innovative checkpoint technologies that improve security effectiveness, efficiency and the passenger experience.”