USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration Seal

Transportation Security Administration

TSA screened a record-breaking number of Thanksgiving holiday travelers Sunday was the busiest travel day in TSA history

National Press Release
Thursday, December 5, 2019

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration saw a record-breaking number of travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday, screening more than 26 million passengers and crew members during the holiday travel period, from Friday, Nov. 22 to Monday, Dec. 2. On the busiest day, Dec. 1, more than 2.8 million travelers passed through TSA security checkpoints nationwide, and with 2,870,764 travelers screened, it marked the busiest day ever in the 18-year history of the agency.

“TSA officers once again met the challenge to screen millions of passengers on their way to and from their holiday destinations,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “I continue to be impressed by their hard work and dedication to the mission. I am also thankful for our industry partners, including the airports and airlines, who work side by side with us to ensure we were prepared not only for this holiday season but every day.”

Prior to the Thanksgiving travel period, TSA reminded passengers to pack smart and use TSA tools like the MyTSA app or use the “What can I bring?” on tsa.gov; to obtain or renew TSA Pre✓® membership; and to be aware of the upcoming deadline for REAL ID enforcement beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Despite the volume, 99.8 percent of all passengers nationwide waited less than 30 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.

Over the holiday travel period, TSA screened more than 16 million checked bags. Typically, an average travel day would see TSA screen approximately 2.1 million passengers and crew, but in the busiest days of the Thanksgiving travel week, TSA screened more than a half million more passengers per day than usual. TSA has handled nearly 1.4 percent annual passenger growth over the last few years.

TSA’s top 10 list of busiest days of travelers screened

RANK

Date

Passengers & Crew Screened

Circumstances

1

Sunday, Dec. 1,2019

2,870,764

Sunday after Thanksgiving

2

Sunday, July 7, 2019

2,795,369

Sunday after July 4th

3

Friday, May 24, 2019

2,792,670

Friday before Memorial Day

4

Friday, July 19, 2019

2,776,960

Summer travel

5

Friday, June 21, 2019

2,772,903

Summer travel

6

Monday, July 8, 2019

2,748,718

Monday after July 4th

7

Thursday, August 1, 2019

2,742,882

Summer travel

8

Friday, July 26, 2019

2,732,770

Summer travel

9

Friday, August 2, 2019

2,730,936

Summer travel

10

Friday, June 28,  2019

2,730,515

Friday before July 4th

###