If you subscribe to my free travel newsletter (here’s the link), then you know that I’ve been predicting that the TSA would break their single-day record for highest number of passengers screened. Last Monday, I wrote: “It looks like the TSA will break their record for most passengers screened in a single day. I’m predicting it will happen this Wednesday and then again on Sunday.” RELATED: How To Make Sure the TSA PreCheck Checkmark is On Your Boarding Pass
I walked that prediction back on Thanksgiving Day when the numbers were lower than I thought. I wrote, “It looks like there won’t be any single day records broken as TSA officers screened 2,736,067 people at airport checkpoints nationwide yesterday, November 22. Four years ago on the same day (pre-pandemic), that number was 2,624,250. I was predicting that yesterday and Sunday would break records for single day checkpoint numbers but it looks like I underestimated how many people work remotely and left early. I think they will return later as well as I have a flight on Tuesday and it’s at capacity. It’s good to see people are living better lives.”
When I checked the Transportation Security Administration website this morning for yesterday’s numbers, my eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw 2,907,378. The previous high was 2,884,783, set this past June 30. Prior to that, it was the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019 with 2,882,915.
What a difference a few years can make. On the same day in 2020, only 1,176,091 people went through U.S. security checkpoints, for obvious reasons.
The TSA quickly took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to tout the record.
@TSA: BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday (Nov. 26), TSA screened just over 2.9M individuals at airports nationwide, which represents an agency record – the busiest day ever for air travel. As #HolidayTravel season continues, we remind passengers to please arrive at the airport early.”
BREAKING NEWS: Yesterday (Nov. 26), TSA screened just over 2.9M individuals at airports nationwide, which represents an agency record – the busiest day ever for air travel.
As #HolidayTravel season continues, we remind passengers to please arrive at the airport early.
— TSA (@TSA) November 27, 2023
Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokesperson wrote, “If you thought your airport was crowded yesterday, not only was it crowded, but it was the busiest day ever at security checkpoints in the history of @TSA.”
— Lisa Farbstein, TSA Spokesperson (@TSA_Northeast) November 27, 2023
Fortunately, there were no big storms so in addition to the TSA breaking records, I think this Thanksgiving week may have been the smoothest on record as well. Now let’s hope for the same at Christmastime and not a repeat of what happened last year when Southwest Airlines faced a major operations meltdown, creating chaos and stranding holiday travelers.
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