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Transportation Security Administration

Thanksgiving Travel Projected to Decrease this Year

Monday, November 24, 2008
Orbitz chart showing the top 10 busiest airports, click here for more

This Thanksgiving season will be the first time that the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) has projected a decrease in holiday passenger traffic since 2001. Higher fuel prices combined with reduced consumer spending have led to a projected 10% drop in the number of passengers and flights in the 12-day period spanning November 21 (Friday before) through December 2 (Tuesday after), as compared to the same period in 2007. (Click here and here )

Even though passenger traffic is expected to drop, as always, TSA has ramped up holiday staffing at the checkpoints to ensure passengers get through smoothly. It always helps to come prepared so you can help keep lines moving. Check out the Travelers Page (click here ) for special holiday information regarding food and gift items, tips on how to pack, and a list of things you shouldn’t bring on a plane.

While wait times may vary from airport to airport, last year, the average wait at peak flying times was less than 13 minutes during the holiday weekend. The busiest travel days are usually the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday/Monday after.

Here are projections for busy airports this Thanksgiving, courtesy of Orbitz .


Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Of course air travel is going down. TSA has made air travel a ridiculously difficult proposition with its pointless procedures and rogue employees who routinely abuse and harass citizens traveling by air.

Submitted by Al Ames on

Interesting that the vast majority of those on the list are hub airports. I'd expect them to busy during a holiday. Going along with that, I'd also expect them not to be screening a lot of people ... most traffic should be passengers flying thru that.

So here's a question going a long with that: if I transit an airport, why do I have to pay the security fee twice? I already went thru security once.

Al

Submitted by Tomas on

Personally I'm driving a little over 700 miles to see relatives in another state this holiday season rather than fly.

It is much easier and less hassle.

Tom (1 of 5-6)

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Of course air travel is going down. TSA has made air travel a ridiculously difficult proposition with its pointless procedures and rogue employees who routinely abuse and harass citizens traveling by air."

Yup. Good thing that airlines cutting seats, raising prices, charging fees for everything didn't have anything to do with it. Oh, and that crappy economy was blameless. Yup, it was all TSA's fault.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I had a horrible experience with TSA today at LAX, as they not only threw away absolutely harmless products (Raw Coconut Butter and Ghee), but they made me miss my flight by 2 minutes as they were trying to figure out what they were to throwing away. For such a rude and strict policy system they govern, they really need to be educated on substances that are harmful and vis- versa. I missed my flight this afternoon and even there after they would not give me back my $20 worth of products. I hate to see another system in this country not only be so wasteful but be a system based upon fear and complete ignorance.
The employees say "sorry they're are just doing their job." Our "job"as human beings is to act out of love and not fear. Such fear will not create progress.
TSA your system has got to figure out a way to detect harmful products if your logic is to save the world or at least the airport from whatever disillusions you have of terriosm. Since our country is in the midst of change, perhaps consider creating a system that serves the people with dignity, respect and that is less dehumanizing, be not so wasteful, learn the difference between coconut butter and illegal chemicals at the least, and I sure hope your company recycles! Your system really makes flying unpleasant. And with less people flying these days gives you all plenty of time to reconfigure a "mature" system.

Submitted by Gunner on

Naturally people are driving more -- the entire TSA security theater is designed to drive people away from flying.

Submitted by Anonymous on

@Al
"I transit an airport, why do I have to pay the security fee twice?"

On December 31, 2001, TSA published an interim final rule that imposes a $2.50 fee on each air carrier passenger enplanement in order to help pay for the Federal government's costs in providing aviation security services. See 66 FR 67698 (to be codified at 49 CFR part 1510). Passengers may not be charged for more than two enplanements per one-way trip or more than four enplanements per round trip. The fee, commonly referred to as the September 11th Security Fee, was authorized in the landmark Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which was signed into law by President Bush on November 19, 2001. Public Law 107-71. The September 11th Security Fees will help pay for passenger and baggage screeners, security managers and law enforcement personnel at airports, and other aviation security efforts, such as the purchase of explosive detection systems.

Hope this helps Al.

Source: Imposition and Collection of Passenger Civil Aviation Security Service Fees

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymos Said
"Of course air travel is going down. TSA has made air travel a ridiculously difficult proposition with its pointless procedures and rogue employees who routinely abuse and harass citizens traveling by air".

This response is so rediculas! As the old saying goes: It's the economy stupid". The bank failures are probibly due to TSA as well, right? Get a life...

Submitted by Anonymous on

So, this should liven up the comments. An article in USA Today states that:

160,000 people have been 'interviewed' by BDO's. Of that 160,000, 15,000 were referred to Police. Of that 15,000, only 1,266 were charged, and for completely unrelated things, according to the article primarily fake ID and drugs.

So, the question is this: Where in the TSA mandate does it give authority for the TSA to act like "Junior Cops", harassing people who likely have no connection to terrorism?

And the sixty-four thousand question, of course, is when will see this practice expanded to other modes of transit, and how long the American people will tolerate this ridiculous and unwarranted intrusion.

Submitted by Yangj08 on

@anonymous (both of you who responded to the one about TSA making travel hard)- To put it lightly, TSA certainly isn't helping. Too many roadblocks and of course people aren't going to be flying. Yes, especially the liquids restrictions. This will show more come December, but people in countries who only practice liquids restrictions on US-bound flights will be discouraged from coming.

And to everyone who says "you don't need more than 3oz of anything carried on"- souvenirs. Duty-free. Most things I don't trust to checked baggage anymore given recent news reports. Only clothes.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
"Of course air travel is going down. TSA has made air travel a ridiculously difficult proposition with its pointless procedures and rogue employees who routinely abuse and harass citizens traveling by air."

Yup. Good thing that airlines cutting seats, raising prices, charging fees for everything didn't have anything to do with it. Oh, and that crappy economy was blameless. Yup, it was all TSA's fault.

November 24, 2008 10:55 PM

No one doubts that the current climate the airlines have in place have discouraged air travel. Prices, fees, and less than stellar performance by the airlines have had a negative impact on air travel.

TSA has added their on disincentives to air travel also. Poor treatment by TSO's, TSO's who do not know procedures and confiscate permitted items, theft from checked luggage by TSO's or other handlers caused by TSA's policy of unsecured baggage, restrictions on taking things we need if not checking bags, and the list goes on.

TSA surely bears some fault for the decreased passenger load at any airline! Until the heavy handed Brown Shirt "Travel Papers Please" wantabe cops are replaced with honest and capable people air travel will continue to decline.

Submitted by Anonymous on

The prospect of dealing with TSA's nonsense that does nothing to make anyone safe is one of the reasons I'll be driving, not flying, this holiday season. I don't trust my security to bin Laden's willing accomplices.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Make Your Trip Better Using 3-1-1
3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3 oz. container size is a security measure.

When will TSA correct the information of it's web pages? No wonder travel is down. TSA demonstrates it's lack of concern for travelers.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I had a horrible experience with TSA today at LAX, as they not only threw away absolutely harmless products (Raw Coconut Butter and Ghee), but they made me miss my flight by 2 minutes as they were trying to figure out what they were to throwing away. For such a rude and strict policy system they govern, they really need to be educated on substances that are harmful and vis- versa. I missed my flight this afternoon and even there after they would not give me back my $20 worth of products. I hate to see another system in this country not only be so wasteful but be a system based upon fear and complete ignorance
_____________________________________________________

Well lets see.... The restricted liquid, creams and gel's rule has been in affect for over two years now. How would someone know what is inside of the container? TSA does not smell, taste or test out your product. There could be anything in there. Besides the fact that there could be anything in your container labeled "Coconut Butter", the rules are the rules, follow them. TSA would not dig your lotion out of the garbage. Well I wonder why not. I mean most people love digging through garbage cans! Once your item was in the garbage you wanted it back?! And TSA did not make you lose your flight. If you would have followed the rules that have been in affect for over two years now, your bag would have never gotten searched and you would have made your flight. It is terrible that with such ignorance people would put themselves through that. :)

Give up people! Stop blaming TSA for your faults!

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA must be really proud of their collective accomplishments with the American people. I flew before 9/11 and don't recall anywhere this much animosity, loathing, disgust on the part of travelers towards the security apparatus.

TSA MISSION ACCOMPLISHED - the American people dislike you more than the terrorists who brought us 9/11.

Submitted by Anonymous on

@Anonymous November 24, 2008 11:53 PM
I had a horrible experience with TSA today at LAX

Please use the TSA got feedback. Its a easy way to complain and get a response from the LAX TSA customer service representative.

Link here:Got Feedback

I have used this a few times and have been happy with the outcome.

For the others who are driving this Thanksgiving... sorry.. TSA isn't that bad. My family and me zoomed through security this year in 5 min (Jaw dropped).

Submitted by Rogue TSO (LOL) on

Anonymous said...
Of course air travel is going down. TSA has made air travel a ridiculously difficult proposition with its pointless procedures and rogue employees who routinely abuse and harass citizens traveling by air.

November 24, 2008 11:49 AM
************************************************
I have to laugh at this post, sorry. "Rogue employees..." wow, what a vocabulary. I'm convinced that some people will ALWAYS find a reason to complain, even when the majority of passengers I see on a daily basis are cooperative and friendly, even giving compliments to the screening workforce at my airport! Or perhaps we rogue employees are intimidating them into the compliments, do you think? Get a life!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
"The prospect of dealing with TSA's nonsense that does nothing to make anyone safe is one of the reasons I'll be driving, not flying, this holiday season. I don't trust my security to bin Laden's willing accomplices".

November 25, 2008 12:35 PM

The only bin laden will accomplace is the nimrod who would make that kind of atatement... GROW UP AND GET A LIFE!!!

Submitted by Anonymous on

It's probably cheaper (and probably just as fast if your flight is short) to drive now that gas is much cheaper. Driving sure beats dealing with the TSA if your flight is under an hour and a half anyway. Given the gas situation, it sure is no surprise that air travel has decreased significantly.

Submitted by Anonymous on

All I can say is that if you follow the guidelines, or simply ask a TSO what you need to do, getting through security shouldn't be too much of a hassle. If certain people (many of whom seem to post on this blog) are willing to throw a fit over 75 cent bottles of water anyways, then I'm sure they can find something, ANYTHING, to complain about. Blaming all your air travel problems on TSA is pretty immature.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Mission accomplished.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"All I can say is that if you follow the guidelines"

What are the guidelines? Where can a citizen planning to travel by air find the complete, authoritative list of guidelines concerning what objects are and are not permitted aboard an aircraft? How can a citizen seek redress when presented with a TSO who violates these guidelines?

Submitted by Yangj08 on

"All I can say is that if you follow the guidelines, or simply ask a TSO what you need to do, getting through security shouldn't be too much of a hassle. If certain people (many of whom seem to post on this blog) are willing to throw a fit over 75 cent bottles of water anyways, then I'm sure they can find something, ANYTHING, to complain about. Blaming all your air travel problems on TSA is pretty immature."

If you're able to buy a bottle of water for 75 cents airside in the States, we'd all love to know where. And no, blaming travel problems on the TSA is not immature. It's constructive criticism.

Example- Japan doesn't have half the travel issues that the US has. They've had liquids screening machines as soon as the "threat" was discovered (and if you think it's a problem that it doesn't detect all explosives, maybe that's a hint as to the nature of the threat that they don't need or talk about their need to detect those) and electronic boarding passes too (and it's not limited to that QR code- I can use my RFID-enabled FF card as a boarding pass too). Everyone's happy.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"All I can say is that if you follow the guidelines"

What are the guidelines? Where can a citizen planning to travel by air find the complete, authoritative list of guidelines concerning what objects are and are not permitted aboard an aircraft? How can a citizen seek redress when presented with a TSO who violates these guidelines?

December 1, 2008 4:10 PM
________________________________________________

WHY? Why must you people ask this same question over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over? Don't tell me because no one ever gets an answer to their questions on here. Everyone gets answers. No one likes the answers. There for you ask the same things over and over and over. I am glad I am not in charge of this blog, its like taking care of a kindergarden class!

Submitted by Anonymous on
Blaming all your air travel problems on TSA is pretty immature.

November 27, 2008 7:29 PM

You are correct. But I can blame TSA for not allowing me to properly secure my luggage against baggage thefts (airport or TSA). I can blame TSA for trashing my luggage. I can blame TSA for damaging my carry on belongings. I can blame TSA for failing in their primary mission. I can blame TSA for attempting to mislead the traveling public. I can blame the TSA for violating the Constitution.
Submitted by Yangj08 on

"Don't tell me because no one ever gets an answer to their questions on here. Everyone gets answers. No one likes the answers."
Um... For a start, answers that will be adhered to by TSOs would be much appreciated. More than once a blogger answer has conflicted with what actually happens.

Submitted by S on

I used to love flying, and have flown cross-country and internationally nearly every year since I was five. I don't have fun flying anymore... Luckily I don't fit any special profile, and can get through security fairly quickly. But with the recent understaffing and such these past few years, my flights are almost always delayed or rerouted, so I never check bags anymore. When booking online, I am often told when I arrive that I don't have a seat since the flight was overbooked... Yet I paid for a ticket and selected a seat assignment online.

But my friends and family members have suffered under this new security regime that has not stopped a single terrorist, but instead has made flying a tedious and anxious ordeal for many customers.

My father recently had a hip replacement. The doctor warned him this would trigger the alarm in airport security, so, on his first air trip after the surgery, my father brought along the records of his surgery, a note from his doctor, and his prescription information. Security personnel glanced at the info and went ahead and pulled him aside for a secondary search in a private room, so they could strip search him. He asked them what documentation he needed to avoid this time-wasting and humiliating search in the future. The security people told him there was no special ID or paperwork he could acquire to avoid a secondary search. They told him to expect to be wanded/searched at every airport security check he goes through in the future.

As for profiling, when I returned from a trip to Korea with a group of fellow martial artists all wearing identical blue baseball caps with our team's logo on them, every single white person on the team, male and female, walked straight through security no problem. Who got stopped for secondary checks? Our African-American teammate and Filipino ancestry teammate. What a coincidence, right?

Airport security has never stopped a single terrorist. It just strips away yet another of our freedoms - the freedom from harassment.

Submitted by Gary Clyman on

I dunno - book early, leave the house for the airport early, get to checkin early. You'll usually always be okay this way...

Submitted by Alf Walters on

Airport security has gone beyond a joke these days and that is why fewer and fewer people are flying both internally and internationally.
The security prescence makes us feel very uneasy and the constant threat of danger makes us decide to take other modes of transport even if they are much slower just for our peace of mind. Just my two cents worth.