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Busiest Ever Day in the TSA’s 22-Year History Recorded On Friday as Nearly 3 Million Passengers Screened Nationwide

Busiest Ever Day in the TSA’s 22-Year History Recorded On Friday as Nearly 3 Million Passengers Screened Nationwide

a man walking in an airport

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it witnessed its busiest ever day on the Friday of the Memorial Day weekend after the federal agency screened nearly three million passengers in a single day at airport security checkpoints nationwide.

Preliminary figures released by the TSA show that the agency screened 2,951,163 individuals – the highest-ever number of passengers screened in a single day by the TSA in its 22-year history.

Earlier this month, the TSA said that it was gearing up for its busiest-ever summer, starting from Memorial Day through to Labor Day. Funnily enough, the agency had predicted that Friday, May 24, would be the busiest travel day of the long Memorial Day weekend, with nearly three million passengers expected to travel.

During the seven-day travel period covering May 23 to May 29, a total of 18 million passengers and crew are expected to be screened by the TSA – an increase of 6.4% on the same period in 2023.

The record-breaking figures reported on Friday are a far cry from when passenger numbers hit rock bottom on April 14, 2020, when the TSA screened just 87,534 passengers as the pandemic dramatically changed ingrained travel habits.

It would be more than a year later, on July 2, 2021, that the number of passengers screened at TSA airport security checkpoints would surpass pre-pandemic levels.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske says his agency is more than ready to handle rising passenger numbers and is confident that the system won’t buckle under the pressure of record-breaking traveler numbers.

“In close coordination with airport, airline and travel partners, we are more than ready to handle this summer’s increased travel volumes,” Pekoske commented earlier this month.

“We are also continuing to deploy state-of-the-art checkpoint technology that increases security effectiveness, efficiency and enhances the passenger experience and our retention and recruitment numbers are the highest they’ve ever been.”

Last year, the TSA intercepted more guns at airport checkpoints than in any other year, with a record 6,737 firearms prevented from being taken illegally onboard commercial airline flights.

Despite the agency’s apparent success, the TSA has faced criticism in recent weeks for its failure to stop passengers from transporting stray bullets and casings in their hand luggage.

Several Americans are still stranded in the Turks and Caicos after airport security agents found ammunition in their hand luggage as they attempted to leave the idyllic holiday destination.

The stranded tourists face a maximum sentence of 12 years imprisonment, although the local authorities are advising the judiciary that they can hand down much less severe sentences if they find there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ to do so.

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