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Transportation Security Administration

TSA experienced one of the busiest Thanksgiving weeks ever

National Press Release
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) experienced one of the busiest Thanksgiving travel weeks in its 16-year history. Sunday was the busiest day of the holiday week with more than 2.6 million passengers and crew members passing through TSA screening. It was the fifth busiest day since the agency was established immediately following the 9/11 attacks.

Half of the busiest days on record in the past 16 years occurred in the past few months. 

Even though the volume of individuals screened was remarkably high, nationwide 98.1 percent of all passengers waited less than 20 minutes in a checkpoint line and 99.2 percent of passengers who were in a TSA Pre✓® lane waited less than 10 minutes in a security checkpoint line.

“Enhanced security screening measures and the use of TSA canine teams were in place during the busy Thanksgiving travel period to ensure security of air travel,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “I am very proud of our Transportation Security Officers for their work and attention to detail during a very hectic time, ensuring safe travel for all passengers,” he added.

From Friday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Nov. 26, TSA screened 21,613,767 passengers and crew at airport checkpoints nationwide. More than 13.6 million checked bags were screened during the same time period. Typically, an average travel day would see TSA screen in the neighborhood of 2.1 million passengers and crew, but in the busiest days of the Thanksgiving travel week, TSA screened as many as a half million more passengers per day than usual.

TSA’s top 10 list of busiest days screening passengers at checkpoints nationwide

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 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

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