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Transportation Security Administration

Thanksgiving Holiday Airport Traffic Decreased Nationwide

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually a very busy day at the nation’s airports, and traditionally, the second busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. As we noted in an earlier post, the Air Transport Association forecasted a 10 percent drop in the number of passengers traveling on U.S. airlines during that time.

TSA data collected from airports nationwide proved the forecast right. Based on data collected from this past Wednesday, the number of passengers going through TSA checkpoints decreased 16 percent nationwide - and 14 percent at the nation’s 40 busiest airports - compared to last year.

Of the top 40 U.S. airports, the biggest decreases in passenger volume through security checkpoints on Wednesday were at Honolulu International Airport (35 percent); John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA (32 percent); Tampa International Airport (27 percent) and Newark International Airport (22 percent).

Airports with the smallest drop in passenger volume were San Francisco International Airport (5 percent), Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (5 percent), Boston Logan International Airport (6 percent), Denver International Airport (9 percent) and Indianapolis International Airport (8 percent).

Update: The above data reflects the number of people screened by TSA at security checkpoints, not the total number of enplanements at airports. TSA data doesn't include people who had connecting flights through airports who do not go through the checkpoint. The post has been updated above to reflect this clarification.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Mission accomplished.

Submitted by Gunner on

>>>the number of passengers going through checkpoints decreased 16 percent nationwide - and 14 percent at the nation’s 40 busiest airports - compared to last year.

And we give you full credit for that reduction. Your indefensible policies and willingness to trample the Constitution while protecting no one.

Shame on you.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Not really surprised here. With the poor economy and higher airline fares, people are traveling less. Hopefully that will be the same during the Christmas holidays. That will mean smaller lines and less wait time for security. :p

Submitted by BlognDog on

Maybe traffic is decreasing because more and more people like me are refusing to fly in the USA until the TSA is eliminated, or at least is forced (kicking and screaming, no doubt) to end its ridiculous policies and fire its arrogant, obnoxious screeners.

And for the 5th time, when CAN I expect a response on the complaints I filed in July 2004 and April 2007?

Submitted by Patrick (BOS TSO) on

Heh, even with 6%, I still got to go home early!

Submitted by MarkVII on

Somehow the drop off doesn't surprise me.

-- Crappy economy gives people less money to spend.
-- Price of oil falls, but the ticket price increases and new fees from the days $150/barrel stay.
-- Airlines still don't get it that passengers stuck on the tarmac need access to food, water and restroom facilities.
-- Airlines cut flight schedules, so there's less slack in the system to deal with delays or canceled flights. All it takes is one snowstorm to throw the system into chaos.
-- TSA (depending on the airport) may or may not treat a passenger like a law abiding citizen until his/her actions prove otherwise.
-- Checked bags may or may not arrive with their contents intact, despite the new fees.

And that's why I drove home for Thanksgiving...

Submitted by Anonymous on

Patrick (BOS TSO) said...
Heh, even with 6%, I still got to go home early!

December 1, 2008 1:27 AM

Seems like TSA needs to decrease the size of its screener force. Why pay for bodies that are not needed.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I seriously don't think it's the lack of traveling. Amtrak's ridership has skyrocketed! Trains through next June on some routes are booked solid and the bucket-system prices (look it up) are already really high really far out. (basically, the more people that book ahead of you, the higher your price goes) If anyone says the economy is causing lack of travel, then yeah, I'll buy that to a point, but look at other forms of transport that don't require you to surrender your rights at [before] the gate.

Submitted by Nestacx on

Wow,very bad traffic..
Because economic conditions in the poor,the traveling is reduced..And many people refuse to fly in USA because TSA may not treat a passenger like a law abiding citizen..

Submitted by Anonymous on

Just flew over the holiday. As expected, lines were not as bad as they could be, because of lower travel rates.

BUT, going through the brand-new Indianapolis airport, the full body scanners were full in force, with no explanatory sign containing the image generated, as promised on this blog. About a quarter of the persons going through were being sent into them (why so many?? just because they are there??), with no explanation whatsoever regarding what was being done or what their choices were.

I asked a woman who had just left it if she knew what the machine did, and she did not. In fact, she was rather upset to here that someone unseen had just taken a peak under her clothes.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
Just flew over the holiday. As expected, lines were not as bad as they could be, because of lower travel rates.

BUT, going through the brand-new Indianapolis airport, the full body scanners were full in force, with no explanatory sign containing the image generated, as promised on this blog.
.........................................
I hope you didn't think that TSA would be honest and do what it said it would.

To many prior events have proven that TSA and its employees are anything but honest.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Gunner Said
>>>"the number of passengers going through checkpoints decreased 16 percent nationwide - and 14 percent at the nation’s 40 busiest airports - compared to last year.
And we give you full credit for that reduction. Your indefensible policies and willingness to trample the Constitution while protecting no one.

Shame on you"

Just another blind, uninformed statement by "Poor Me" people. When all else fails try "The Constitution" gambit. Nobody really listens to them anyway. Shame on TSA??? No, Shame on You!!!


Blogn Says
"Maybe traffic is decreasing because more and more people like me are refusing to fly in the USA until the TSA is eliminated, or at least is forced (kicking and screaming, no doubt) to end its ridiculous policies and fire its arrogant, obnoxious screeners'.

I suspect (in this case anyway) it's not the screeners who are the arrogant and obnoxious. If your waitng for TSA to be eliminated before you fly again, its likely you will never fly again. And noone will care :>O ...

Submitted by Ayn R Key on
Just another blind, uninformed statement by "Poor Me" people. When all else fails try "The Constitution" gambit. Nobody really listens to them anyway. Shame on TSA??? No, Shame on You!!!

...

I suspect (in this case anyway) it's not the screeners who are the arrogant and obnoxious. If your waitng for TSA to be eliminated before you fly again, its likely you will never fly again. And noone will care :>O ...

TSOs like you really should get accounts and not hide behind the name "anonymous."

At least you show us the contempt the TSA feels for the public.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Schneier points to CBS about one possible reason to avoid air travel: TSA working with thieves.

I like this quote from the article: "TSA says it is not just their employees stealing at checkpoints." -- Like that makes it OK.
Submitted by Sandra on

Anonymous wrote:



"BUT, going through the brand-new Indianapolis airport, the full body scanners were full in force, with no explanatory sign containing the image generated, as promised on this blog. About a quarter of the persons going through were being sent into them (why so many?? just because they are there??), with no explanation whatsoever regarding what was being done or what their choices were.



I asked a woman who had just left it if she knew what the machine did, and she did not. In fact, she was rather upset to here that someone unseen had just taken a peak under her clothes."



If I recall correctly, in addition to having a picture (rear only) of what the scan shows, using it was to be optional.



Sounds like a whole bunch of good little sheep just followed the directions of the screener and never questioned what was happening.



If you see this again, please speak up to all in line and explain to them what happens with the full body scan and advise them that they do not have to go through it if they do not want to do so.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thanksgiving is over however postings have either ceased or are being heavily censored. Very few are being posted. I really find it hard to believe that everyone stopped contributing.

Also, every time I try to post I enter the puzzle word but the post is not accepted and requires repeating with another puzzle word.

This last change to the blog format is worse than what was before. Surely someone within TSA has the smarts to get these problems resolved once and for all. Well, maybe not!!

Either run a Good Blog or shut it down!

Submitted by Earl Pitts on

"Just another blind, uninformed statement by "Poor Me" people. When all else fails try "The Constitution" gambit. Nobody really listens to them anyway. Shame on TSA??? No, Shame on You!!!"

Shame on you for trivializing the Constitution.

"I suspect (in this case anyway) it's not the screeners who are the arrogant and obnoxious. If your waitng for TSA to be eliminated before you fly again, its likely you will never fly again. And noone will care :>O ..."

If more and more people take his attitude, that'll be less screeners needed to screen less travelers. Will you go back to flipping burgers then?

If less people are traveling and airlines are continuing to reduce capacity, why do we need to continue employing so many TSO's? Now's a great time to get rid of the bad apples such as this guy, TSA. Downsize to meet demand and get rid of bad apples (thus freeing up that money to buy new technology). It's a win-win! Or is TSA really just a jobs program to give workfare to the otherwise unemployable?

I think we know the answer ...

Earl

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ayn R. Key and Earl Pitts

I'm not a TSA Employee... Just someone who travels through airports worldwide weekly on business. I. "Like Most" americans appriciate what TSA does even with it's faults. They strive to improve the process daily with the goal of protecting all who fly. They hear all you haters everyday, I just though they would like to hear from someone who appriciates what they do (like most do).

Submitted by Earl Pitts on

"I'm not a TSA Employee... Just someone who travels through airports worldwide weekly on business. I. "Like Most" americans appriciate what TSA does even with it's faults. They strive to improve the process daily with the goal of protecting all who fly. They hear all you haters everyday, I just though they would like to hear from someone who appriciates what they do (like most do)."

Are you sure it's most?

I don't doubt that there are people that appreciate TSA. I doubt that they're as well liked as you believe though. Just look in the media and tell me how many stories are critical of TSA vs. how many aren't.

There'a reason the TSA is as popular as the IRS.

I don't expect it to be perfect. I do expect return on investment (both tax dollars and time) and to actually be safe (not appear to be safe) considering the hassle we go thru.

Did you appreciate the job the contract employees did before TSA took over? They did equally as well as TSA, yet many derided them. Unfortunately, they also became the scapegoats for 9/11.

I'd appreciate security if we were actually getting it. It isn't a knock against the officers (most of them anyway), but how they're told to provide it.

Earl

Submitted by Anonymous on

Mission accomplished.

Submitted by Anonymous on

As long as TSA accepts boarding passes that are printed at home as an access credential, the TSA ID Check is a purely-for-show sham of "security". If a potential terrorist can use their own photoshopped boarding pass to validate an ID that was never checked against the Do-Not-Fly list, ID checking is a farce.

I, for one, do not appreciate that TSA presents this bit of "what they do" as a important "layer of security". TSA should do it right or not do it at all.

Anything less is "security theatre".

Submitted by Joe on

Maybe since economy is bad, the airports will be less crowded with the people that just stop in the middle of the hall.