2.9 Million Travelers to be Screen by TSA
The Washington DC-based Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced it expects airport security checkpoints nationwide will be busy from Friday, November 19, through Sunday, November 28, 2021.
However, the TSA says it is prepared to screen about 20 million passengers during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The highest travel day in TSA's history was the Sunday after Thanksgiving of 2019, when nearly 2.9 million individuals were screened at TSA security checkpoints nationwide.
Typically, the busiest days during the Thanksgiving travel period are Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Sunday afterward.
"We anticipate that travel may be very close to pre-pandemic levels this holiday, and we are staffed and prepared for the holiday travelers. We have deployed technologies that enhance detection capabilities and reduce physical contact. However, it's equally important that passengers are prepared with travel tips for the most efficient checkpoint experience," said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a press statement issued on November 17, 2021.
"With greater confidence in healthy travel, there will be more people traveling, so plan, remain vigilant, and practice kindness."
The best way to ensure a smooth trip through the security screening process is to arrive early and be prepared.
"I recommend that travelers pay attention to the guidance that the TSA officers are providing at the checkpoint," Pekoske added.
"They may be directing you to a shorter line or guiding you around someone who is moving slowly."
"And they may be giving you some advice that will lessen the likelihood that you'll need a pat-down."
Travelers can get assistance in real-time by submitting their questions and comments to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger.
Travelers can also reach the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673. Staff is available from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends/holidays, and an automated service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Depending on your destination, COVID-19 vaccination may be required, as well as travel vaccines, such as yellow fever.
Visit the U.S. CDC travel directory to learn which vaccines are required.