TSA continues to set record of passengers screened with busy holiday travel season

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Administrator Pekoske: “The performance of our TSA officers in ensuring security has been outstanding during a timeframe that has seen passenger volume soar to some of the highest levels ever.”
National Press Release
Friday, January 5, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) set another screening record during the 2017 holiday travel period, December 15 through January 2, 2018, with more than 42 million (42,043,588) passengers and more than 30.6 million (30,611,408) checked bags screened nationwide. December 22, the Friday before Christmas, was the busiest day with more than 2.5 million passengers and crew members screened. It was the 11th busiest day in TSA’s history.

“We saw a record number of passengers during both the Thanksgiving and Christmas travel periods,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “With enhanced security measures in place and the bustle of holiday travelers, our TSA officers excelled. They operated efficiently while maintaining a keen focus on security effectiveness, which was an enormous task, and I am very proud of them all,” he added.

The enhanced screening measures, which began at a handful of airports in late summer 2017, saw incremental expansion lane-by-lane at most of the nation’s largest airports in time for Thanksgiving, with even more checkpoint lanes utilizing the enhanced procedures before the Christmas holiday season.

Nine of the top 15 busiest days on record in the past 16 years all have occurred since May 2017.

Even though the volume of individuals screened was notably high, 97 percent of all passengers waited less than 20 minutes at the checkpoint and 95.6 percent of passengers who were in a TSA Pre✓® lane waited less than 5 minutes.

On an average travel day, TSA screens approximately 2.1 million passengers and crew. In the busiest days during the holiday travel period, TSA screened as many as 400,000 more passengers per day than usual.

 “The combination of increased passenger volume with a persistent terror threat means that TSA must continue to invest in its screening workforce, strengthen its close partnerships with the airline industry and deploy state-of-the-art technology,” added Pekoske.

TSA’s 15 busiest days of passenger screening at checkpoints nationwide

Dates in Bold All Took Place in 2017

Rank Date Passengers + Crew Screened Circumstances
1 Nov. 28, 2004 2,713,864 Sunday after Thanksgiving
2 Nov. 19, 2004 2,652,347 Friday of the week before Thanksgiving
3 June 30, 2017 2,647,852 Friday of the Fourth of July Weekend
4 Nov. 29, 2004 2,642,566 Monday after Thanksgiving
5 Nov. 26, 2017 2,609,372 Sunday after Thanksgiving
6 Nov. 5, 2004 2,569,252 It was a high-volume day
7 June 29, 2017 2,540,110 Thursday before the Fourth of July Weekend
8 July 1, 2005 2,534,052 Friday of the Fourth of July Weekend
9 May 26, 2017 2,530,310 Friday of Memorial Day Weekend
10 July 21, 2017 2,527,816 It was a high-volume day
11 Dec. 22, 2017 2,516,531 Friday before Christmas
12 June 30, 2005 2,510,037 It was a high-volume day
13 Aug. 4, 2017 2,507,717 It was a high-volume day
14 July 27, 2017 2,506,393 It was a high-volume day
15 June 23, 2017 2,505,682 It was a high-volume day