TSA at Sea-Tac Airport screens more than 306,000 people during busy Fourth of July holiday weekend

Record for busiest day nationally in TSA’s history set on Sunday, July 7
Local Press Release
Thursday, July 11, 2019

SEATTLE - The 2019 Fourth of July holiday weekend proved to be another record-breaking travel period for the Transportation Security Administration. Nationwide, from July 3 to July 7, more than 11.9 million passengers and crew went through security checkpoints, and more than 8 million checked bags were screened. On Sunday, July 7, TSA experienced its busiest day in history, screening 2,795,014 passengers and crew surpassing the previous record set during the 2019 Memorial Day weekend.

TSA at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport screened more than 306,000 departing passengers and crew from July 3 to July 7. The busiest day during the holiday weekend was Sunday, July 7 when 68,273 people were screened. The second busiest day of the holiday weekend was Wednesday, July 3 when 66,374 people were screened. During this same five-day period, more than 196,000 checked bags were screened.

“While this wasn’t a record breaking summer holiday weekend for TSA at Sea-Tac Airport, our operations were continuously busy. The collaborative efforts with the Port of Seattle and a host of air carriers continue to ensure that travelers were able to get to their destinations safely and securely,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Washington Jeff Holmgren. “I salute the local TSA workforce for its efficiency and commitment to the traveling public.”

Despite the surge of passengers over the weekend, nationwide 99.7% of passengers waited less than 30 minutes in standard lanes, and 99.1% of TSA Pre✓® passengers waited less than 10 minutes. Locally, no TSA-recorded wait time exceeded 30 minutes in standard lanes and the longest recorded TSA Pre✓® wait time was 13 minutes.

TSA continues to advise passengers departing Sea-Tac Airport to arrive at least two hours prior to their scheduled flight departure in order to have time to park, check luggage, complete the security screening process and arrive at their gate. Since airlines routinely begin boarding flights 40 minutes prior to departure time, arriving early is key.

Throughout the summer months, the busiest days for TSA at Sea-Tac are projected to be Fridays and Mondays followed by Thursdays and Sundays. The busiest times each day will be 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., with the highest volume of travelers coming to the security checkpoint from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and again 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. This is due to a concentrated number of flight departures during this period. Mid-afternoons and evenings are busy, too. Historically, the busiest month for TSA at Sea-Tac Airport is August.

Nationally, TSA typically screens about 2.2 million passengers and crew members each day. Passenger throughput over the July fourth holiday travel period surpassed the 2.2 million average every day with the exception of Thursday, July 4.

Eight of the Top 10 busiest days ever in TSA history nationally have occurred during the 2019 summer travel period. Below is a list of the Top 10 in TSA history:



Total passengers and crew members screened*


Sunday, July 7, 2019



Friday, May 24, 2019



Friday, June 21, 2019



Friday, June 28, 2019



Sunday, November 25, 2018



Thursday, June 20, 2019



Friday, June 14, 2019



Sunday, June 23, 2019



Monday, June 24, 2019



Sunday, November 28, 2004


The busiest day ever for TSA at Sea-Tac Airport was Friday, August 10, 2018, when TSA screened 73,002 people. The second busiest day also occurred last summer when on Friday, June 22, 2018, TSA screened 72,912 people through the security checkpoints.