TSA reports highest traveler numbers since March 2020

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened the highest number of travelers since the beginning of the pandemic this weekend, tracking more than 2.1 million air passengers.

The TSA said it screened 2,137,584 travelers on Saturday, which is more than three times the 632,984 screened the same day last year.

The previous post-pandemic air travel record was set just one day prior, with 2,085,327 screenings.


The uptick in airport screenings comes just ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, which the American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts will see as many 3.5 million air travelers.

The spike in screenings is an indication that the airline industry is coming back to life after more than a year of pandemic restrictions, as the country ramps up its vaccination effort and cities and states begin lifting mask mandates and business capacities.

On Sunday, a bipartisan group of senators penned a letter to the TSA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ask when mask guidance for travelers will be updated.

With the surge in air travel, the TSA earlier this month warned that 131 of the largest airports in the U.S. will likely face staffing shortages in June.

The agency said it has taken a number of steps in recent weeks to increase hiring ahead of summer travel.

In a statement to The Hill earlier this month, the TSA said it is “well-positioned to meet the rising traveler volumes,” and that the agency’s “concerted recruitment effort” is in line with actions taken in previous years.

“As in years before, the agency began a concerted recruitment effort this past winter in anticipation of increasing volumes and is on pace with established benchmarks to meet hiring goals,” the agency said.

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