The TSA Screened a Record Number of Passengers on the Sunday After Thanksgiving

More than 2.56 million passengers traveled through U.S. airports on Sunday — the most since 2019.

Travelers navigate a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport on November 22, 2022 in Denver, Colorado.
Travelers navigate a security checkpoint at Denver International Airport on November 22, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Photo:

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2.56 million people at American airports on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the most since 2019.

In total, 2,560,623 people passed through airports in the United States on Sunday, Nov. 27, according to the TSA’s data. That’s the most since Dec. 26, 2019, when the TSA screened 2,575,985 passengers. 

The checkpoint numbers were still well below the same day in 2019 when the TSA screened more than 2.8 million people on Nov. 27.

Overall, more than 12.9 million people passed through American airports from Tuesday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 27, according to the TSA’s data. 

“BREAKING: @TSA officers screened 2,560,623 individuals nationwide on Nov. 27, the Sunday after Thanksgiving,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein tweeted. “It marked the highest checkpoint volume since the start of the pandemic.” 

Previously, the highest travel volume was seen on Oct. 16, 2022, when the agency screened more than 2.494 million people at checkpoints across the country. 

Thanksgiving travel went relatively smoothly — something both airlines and officials like Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg were hoping for. That continued until Sunday when more than 6,000 flights into, out of, or within the U.S were delayed, according to CNN, the victim of severe weather across parts of the country.

That prompted airports to warn travelers to be mindful of potential issues.

“We can’t stress this enough - plan ahead and arrive early,” New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport tweeted on Sunday. “Budget extra travel time to arrive at #JFK Airport, park in your reserved spot, check in, and get through security.”

Tampa International Airport tweeted a similar plea: “Please (pretty please) arrive early for your flight… (P.S. The flamingo will thank you forever if you do).”

The warnings come as millions are expected to travel over the December holidays. In fact, 47% of people recently surveyed indicated they plan to travel over the holiday break, with nearly half of them planning to fly.

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