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TSA screened a record-breaking number of Thanksgiving holiday travelers, saw the busiest travel day in TSA history

They screened more than 26 million passengers and crew members during the holiday travel period.

The Transportation Security Administration saw a record-breaking number of travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday, screening more than 26 million passengers and crew members during the holiday travel period, from Friday, Nov. 22 to Monday, Dec. 2. On the busiest day, Dec. 1, more than 2.8 million travelers passed through TSA security checkpoints nationwide, and with 2,870,764 travelers screened, it marked the busiest day ever in the 18-year history of the agency.

“TSA officers once again met the challenge to screen millions of passengers on their way to and from their holiday destinations,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “I continue to be impressed by their hard work and dedication to the mission. I am also thankful for our industry partners, including the airports and airlines, who work side by side with us to ensure we were prepared not only for this holiday season but every day.”

Prior to the Thanksgiving travel period, TSA reminded passengers to pack smart and use TSA tools like the MyTSA app or use the “What can I bring?” on tsa.gov; to obtain or renew TSA Pre® membership; and to be aware of the upcoming deadline for REAL ID enforcement beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Despite the volume, 99.8 percent of all passengers nationwide waited less than 30 minutes in a checkpoint line and 99.2 percent of passengers who were in a TSA Pre® lane waited less than 10 minutes in a security checkpoint line.

Over the holiday travel period, TSA screened more than 16 million checked bags. Typically, an average travel day would see TSA screen approximately 2.1 million passengers and crew, but in the busiest days of the Thanksgiving travel week, TSA screened more than a half million more passengers per day than usual. TSA has handled nearly 1.4 percent annual passenger growth over the last few years.

TSA’s top 10 list of busiest days of travelers screened

RANK Date Passengers & Crew Screened Circumstances
1 Sunday, Dec. 1,2019 2,870,764 Sunday after Thanksgiving
2 Sunday, July 7, 2019 2,795,369 Sunday after July 4th
3 Friday, May 24, 2019 2,792,670 Friday before Memorial Day
4 Friday, July 19, 2019 2,776,960 Summer travel
5 Friday, June 21, 2019 2,772,903 Summer travel
6 Monday, July 8, 2019 2,748,718 Monday after July 4th
7 Thursday, August 1, 2019 2,742,882 Summer travel
8 Friday, July 26, 2019 2,732,770 Summer travel
9 Friday, August 2, 2019 2,730,936 Summer travel
10 Friday, June 28,  2019 2,730,515 Friday before July 4th
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