What should come as no surprise to anyone is that the TSA has announced they are expecting record traffic during the holidays through the rest of the year and that you should plan to come to the airports early and expect to wait in long lines.
The Transportation Security Administration is expecting a record breaking number of flyers this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday travel period with more than 26.8 million passengers traveling through security screening checkpoints nationwide Nov. 22 through Dec. 2. TSA officials are prepared to process the volume of passengers at airport security checkpoints, working closely with airports and airlines to project numbers and peak periods.
“We expect record breaking travel volume this 2019 holiday season, following our busiest summer ever,” said TSA Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell. “To plan for the season, partnerships with industry and stakeholders are critical to keep travelers moving safely and securely to holiday destinations. We want to ensure travelers are as best prepared as they can be.”
The busiest travel days leading up to Thanksgiving will be Nov. 27, the Wednesday before the holiday, with 2.7 million passengers and crew expected, and Dec. 1, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when more than 2.8 million travelers are expected to be flying home. On a typical weekday, TSA screens about 2.1 million passengers.
Through the TSA Airport Operations Center and in coordination with airport and airline partners, TSA monitors and maintains security operations at checkpoints nationwide. The center tracks daily screening operations, rapidly addresses any issues that arise, and deploys personnel, canine teams and technology where needed.
The best way to ensure a quick trip through the security screening process is to arrive early and be prepared. Passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide. Travelers are encouraged to allow time to park their cars or return rental cars, check their bags with their airline, and get their boarding passes, all before heading to the security checkpoint. TSA recommends getting to the terminal at least two hours early for domestic travel and at least three hours for international travel.