TSA: 2018 holiday travel season expected to be busiest on record

Posted at 11:33 AM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 13:13:37-05

The Transportation Security Administration is expecting a record-breaking number of flyers this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

The TSA is expecting more than 25 million passengers traveling through security screening checkpoints nationwide Nov. 16 through Nov. 26, an increase of 5 percent from 2017.

“As Thanksgiving and the holiday travel seasons arrive, ensuring the safety and security of the millions of passengers traveling daily remains TSA’s top priority,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We marked several records over the spring and summer travel periods this year, screening more than 525 million passengers and crew. This upcoming season will be very busy as more passengers choose to fly, and TSA officers will be on duty over the holidays so travelers can enjoy theirs.”

The busiest travel days will be the Friday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, with 2.6 million passengers and crew expected on each of those days. On the Sunday after Thanksgiving, more than 2.7 million travelers are expected to be flying home.

According to the TSA, the best way to ensure a quick trip is to arrive early and be prepared. Travelers are encouraged to allow time to park their cars or return rental cars, check their bags with their airline and get boarding passes before heading to their security checkpoint.

Travelers are also encouraged to get to the terminal at least one hour early for domestic travel and at least two hours for international travel.

Additionally, the TSA recommends keeping the following tips in mind:

  • Pack smart  – Prepare for security when packing and ensure there are no prohibited items in baggage.
  • Renew your TSA Pre-check membership – Those who obtained TSA Pre-check five years ago are now able to renew their benefits. Those who do not have it should enroll now in time for holiday travel. Those in the program do not need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets.
  • Ask for passenger support – Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities or medical conditions can call the TSA Cares line at least 3 days before flying with any questions about policies and procedures. The number is 855-787-2227.