TSA screens 2.3 million people on same day as 2020

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TSA screens 2.3 million people on same day as 2020

On Wednesday, the Transportation Security Commission screened a total of 2.3 million passengers as some travelers began heading out to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones.

The volume screened for the same day in 2019 is 88% compared to pre-pandemic levels. The TSA screened 2.6 million passengers on the same day in 2019 and 1.1 million passengers on the same day in 2020.

The total number of passengers screened on Monday has gone to over 6.6 million, compared to just over 2.9 million in 2020 and over 7.3 million in 2019 during the same three-day period.

The TSA said earlier this month it expects to handle an estimated 20 million travelers passing through U.S. airports during the Thanksgiving holiday, which runs from Friday through Sunday, Nov. 28.

Travel volume isn't expected to notch pre-pandemic levels, but the agency says it will be notably higher than what has been seen in recent weeks due to improved vaccination rates and people gaining confidence in travel.

The busiest days during the Thanksgiving travel period are the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday afterward. The highest volume in the TSA history occurred on Sunday after Thanksgiving 2019, when nearly 2.9 million people were screened at U.S. airport security checkpoints.

There are 48.3 million people by car, 4.2 million by air and 1 million by other modes of transportation, such as a bus, train or cruise, according to AAA. The forecast marks a 13% increase compared to 2020, the highest single-year increase since 2005, but a 5% decrease compared to 2019 levels.

As of Thursday morning, about 2,903 flights have been delayed, including 262 heading within, into or out of the United States, according to FlightAware. There were 1,043 flights cancelled so far, including 44 heading into, or out of the United States.