Passenger volume in New England rises, but still down compared to 2019 end-of-year holiday travel period

Local Press Release
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

BOSTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) saw an increase in passenger volume in New England during the end-of-year holiday travel period. TSA officers screened more than 470,000 people at New England’s six largest airports from Dec. 18 to Jan. 3.

In 2019, TSA screened more than 1.2 million passengers during the holiday travel period at New England’s six largest airports. Those airports include Boston Logan International, Bradley International, T.F. Green, Portland Jetport, Manchester-Boston Regional and Burlington International.

On the busiest day, Sunday, Dec. 27, nearly 36,000 travelers passed through TSA security checkpoints throughout New England. The average number of passengers screened during the 2020 holiday travel period was about 27,600 a day at New England’s top six airports.

At New England’s busiest airport, Boston Logan, TSA officers screened more than 329,000 passengers, an average of approximately 19,000 each day during the holiday travel period. Despite the holiday increase in passengers, the maximum wait time at Boston Logan security checkpoints was only seven minutes.

TSA officers worked long hours during the holiday period to ensure safe and secure holiday travel,” said Bob Allison, TSA Federal Security Director for Massachusetts and Maine. “Our checkpoints were fully staffed so passengers could quickly and safely get through security to get to and from their holiday destinations.”

TSA continues to require all officers to wear face masks and gloves while on duty. Face shields are also required when there is no acrylic barrier in place. The agency will continue to disinfect frequently touched surfaces and encourage social distancing through signage. When pat downs are required, TSA officers must use a fresh pair of gloves. As vaccinations become available for TSA officers in the coming weeks and months, the agency will continue to require the use of personal protective equipment in accordance with CDC guidelines. TSA remains steadfast in the agency’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, including continuing to closely collaborate with industry and airport partners to enhance the overall travel experience.

As part of the ongoing “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.” campaign, a dedicated TSA COVID-19 page is updated daily to provide information on daily travel volume, employee infections by airport, travel tips, and general updates regarding TSA operations. That page will continue to be updated on a daily basis to remain as transparent as possible with the traveling public. Throughout 2021, TSA remains committed to the mission of protecting all transportation systems as well as the continued deployment of technologies that enhance security and reduce physical contact.

Travelers should continue to check with the CDC for travel advisories as well as their airline and airport at their destinations regarding local COVID-19 guidelines. For those who choose to travel, please visit the TSA website for the latest travel tips and information to make your next trip as safe as possible, including how to sign up for TSA PreCheck®.

TSA anticipates daily travel volumes will continue to rise steadily and follow seasonal patterns. However, the agency expects volume will remain well below pre-pandemic levels through most of 2021.