TSA Expects Record Number of Flyers This Summer
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Peak summer travel season is almost upon us.
And with the anticipation of beach vacations and long holiday weekends comes a dreaded side effect: Long lines at airport Transportation Security Administration checkpoints.
The TSA expects a massive crush of 2.7 million passengers a day to fly out of US airports during peak days this summer (like Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day), agency Administrator David Pekoske said Thursday.
Those numbers will nearly break the agency’s record for most passengers screened in one day. TSA’s all-time busiest day ever recorded was the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2004, when it processed 2.7 million passengers at airports around the country. TSA processes about 2.2 million to 2.3 million flyers on an average day.
Luckily, TSA says it’s taking steps to deal with the onslaught of summer travelers. To more efficiently screen bags through x-ray machines, agents are asking passengers to remove more items from their carry-ons, in addition to traditional items like laptops and other large electronics to get clear views of the bags. This would reduce the number of additional scans needed. Earlier this year, flyers noticed the TSA asking them to remove items like snacks that might clutter the bag’s scan image.
The agency is also testing 3D scanners, called computed tomography, in Phoenix (PHX) and Boston (BOS) that let officers rotate images of the inside of the bag to get a better look without having to pull it out of the x-ray machine and perform a hand search.
The new tech is part of the agency’s funding from Congress — the legislative body set aside a proposed $7.9 billion for the TSA in its 2018 budget, with provisions for testing new initiatives like the 3D scanners. The proposed budget would allot for 145 of those machines in airports in early 2019.
Both US airports and airlines have also contributed newer equipment to TSA to make the screening process more efficient, totaling 130 automated security lines that have conveyor belts to automatically restock bins passengers use for screening their carry-on items.
Overall, airlines have seen the number of US flyers increase by about 4% per year. And those rates always steeply climb in the summer months.
“That’s a very high volume,” Pekoske, the TSA administrator said of the predicted amount of summer travelers. “We’re prepared for a busy summer travel season.”
H/T: USA Today
Featured image by Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees