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The summer travel season officially came to end after a Labor Day Weekend, and the Transportation Security Administration marked 2018 as the busiest summer yet. With a record-breaking number of people flying over Memorial Day Weekend, Independence Day and Labor Day Weekend, TSA experienced nine of the top 10 busiest weeks in its history and screened more than a quarter of a billion travelers this summer.
TSA expected this, though, and hired an extra 1,600 officers in May to accommodate the large masses of travelers. The agency screened 253 million passengers and crew members between the Wednesday before Memorial Day and the Tuesday after Labor Day. That’s nearly 6% more than this time in 2017. Additionally, TSA screened roughly 165 million pieces of checked luggage.
Delta alone flew nearly 60 million passengers and also experienced nine of the airline’s top 10 busiest days. The airline also flew on average 80 more peak-day departures.
TSA has also been testing new technologies like computed tomography scanners to speed up security lines and have a more extensive look inside baggage. With technology like this and an increase in officers, 97% of passenger waited less than 20 minutes in standard security lines, and 94% of TSA Pre-Check lane passengers waited less than five minutes.
“TSA officers, using enhanced procedures, better technology and added assistance from airline and airport partners, ensured that travelers got to their destinations safe and secure,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “We were able to effectively and efficiently screen more than 2.6 million passengers on many of these days, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team and the support of the industry.”
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