If you flew somewhere over Thanksgiving, you had a lot of company

  • Lori Aratani
  • The Washington Post
Nov 30, 2017

If you flew somewhere over the Thanksgiving holiday, you were one of millions. Officials at the Transportation Security Administration report that they screened more than 21.6 million travelers and crew members during the 10-day travel period that began Nov. 17. 

The busiest day was Sunday when they screened more than 2.6 million individuals. While significantly higher than previous years, it wasn't a record. The busiest travel day in the agency's history was the Sunday after Thanksgiving 2004, when TSA officers screened more than 2.7 million people. By comparison, on a typical day, TSA screens roughly 2.1 million passengers.  

As we know, travelers often come with baggage (literally and figuratively) and according to TSA that literal baggage added up to more than 13.6 million bags screened during the 2017 holiday travel period.  

Despite new rules that now require passengers to put personal electronic devices larger than a cellphone into separate screening bins at some U.S. airports, there were no major issues reported with TSA screening during this holiday period. The agency reported that roughly 98.1 percent of passengers screened waited less than 20 minutes. Roughly 99.2 percent of those enrolled in TSA's Pre-Check program in which travelers undergo a background check that includes an interview, fingerprinting and payment of an $85 fee good for five years, waited less than 10 minutes to get through security.