The U.S. Transportation Security Administration expects the number of travelers passing through airport checkpoints to beat, if only slightly, the record of 262 million set four years ago.
The TSA screened nearly 228 million travelers from Memorial Day through August 29, or an average or roughly 2.5 million people a day, it said on Tuesday. The agency forecasts another 14 million more travelers passing through airport checkpoints over the six-day Labor Day holiday weekend from September 1-6. That equals roughly 242 million travelers from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
The balance of screenings needed to exceed 2019 numbers by roughly 1% — the agency’s growth forecast — are likely to come from adjustments between initial reports and final volumes, a TSA spokesperson said.
For the Labor Day weekend holiday, the unofficial end of summer in the U.S., the TSA expects 11% more screenings than last year, Administrator David Pekoske said.
“We are prepared for the increase in travel volumes and are working closely with our airline and airport partners to make sure we are maintaining our wait time standards of 30 minutes and under for standard screening lanes, and 10 minutes and under for TSA PreCheck lanes,” he said. “There are occasions where wait times may be longer, so we encourage you to arrive early, pack your patience and reach out to us before arriving to the airport if you have any questions on our security procedures or items you may bring.”
American Airlines forecasts carrying 3.5 million travelers from August 31 through September 5, and Untied Airlines 2.8 million travelers over the same period.