By Cailey Rizzo
May 23, 2019
RINGO CHIU/Getty Images

It’s going to be a long, hot summer at TSA checkpoints.

In a statement on Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it is expecting a four percent increase in travelers this summer, marking what will likely be the busiest travel season ever for the agency.

The agency predicts that more than 263 million passengers and airline crew members will pass through security from May 23 through Sept. 3, 2019.

That number is 10 million more than what it was in 2018. This year, on its busiest days, the agency expects to screen more than 2.7 million passengers per day.

This is the second time this year that the TSA says it’s prepping for the busiest travel season on record. In March, the agency predicted a busier-than-ever spring break period, with more than 100 million passengers going through security from March 14 through April 28.

To help combat the “summer surge,” the TSA says it has “increased airport security staffing levels by more than 2,000 officers” and increased the amount of overtime funds available.

“Passengers can help by arriving early and prepared for the security screening process, packing carry-on bags so they can be easily screened, and ensuring that neither they nor their bags contain prohibited items,” TSA Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell said in a statement.

The agency advises that travelers fully unpack their carry-on bags before repacking for a trip to ensure that forgotten items don’t set off security sensors. Travelers should also arrive at the airport at least two hours before departure time for domestic flights and three hours for international flights.

Travelers who are particularly worried about wait times can register for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry to pass through the trusted traveler line. According to the TSA, 93 percent of people in that line waited less than five minutes to pass through security last month.

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