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

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

RankDatePassengers + Crew ScreenedCircumstances
1Nov. 28, 20042,713,864Sunday after Thanksgiving
2Nov. 19, 20042,652,347Friday of the week before Thanksgiving
3June 30, 20172,647,852Friday of the Fourth of July Weekend
4Nov. 29, 20042,642,566Monday after Thanksgiving
5Nov. 26, 20172,609,372Sunday after Thanksgiving
6Nov. 5, 20042,569,252It was a high-volume day
7June 29, 20172,540,110Thursday before the Fourth of July Weekend
8July 1, 20052,534,052Friday of the Fourth of July Weekend
9May 26, 20172,530,310Friday of Memorial Day Weekend
10July 21, 20172,527,816It was a high-volume day
11Dec. 22, 20172,516,531Friday before Christmas
12June 30, 20052,510,037It was a high-volume day
13Aug. 4, 20172,507,717It was a high-volume day
14July 27, 20172,506,393It was a high-volume day
15June 23, 20172,505,682It was a high-volume day