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A Record Number of Passengers Flew on Sunday — What This Means for July 4

A Record Number of Passengers Flew on Sunday — What This Means for July 4

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) saw a new airport record over the weekend, showing more Americans are traveling this summer than ever before.

A total of 2.99 million travelers passed through TSA checkpoints on Sunday, which the agency called “the busiest day ever.” Overall, the TSA expects to screen more than 32 million travelers over the July 4 holiday period from June 27 to July 8 with Friday, June 28, expected to be the busiest day.

“We expect this summer to be our busiest ever and summer travel usually peaks over the Independence Day holiday,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “The traveling public is on the move, which is a sign of a healthy economy. We are ready, along with our airline and airport partners, to handle this boost in passenger volumes.”

The TSA expects to see a 5.4 percent increase this July 4 compared to the same time period last year. That follows a similarly record-setting Memorial Day holiday weekend, which included a day with more than 2.95 million passengers.

In fact, the TSA said seven of the top 10 busiest travel days ever occurred over the past month.

To cope with the increasing numbers, Pekoske said the TSA has increased recruiting and “cut our attrition rates by almost half.”

To avoid a July 4 holiday headache, the TSA said travelers should arrive at the airport early — most airlines recommend arriving two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight — and ensure their carry-on luggage is packed correctly to avoid being held up (that means no liquids over 3.4 ounces).

Travelers with TSA PreCheck can typically get through security faster since they are not required to take off their shoes, belts, or light jackets, or take their laptops or liquids out of their carry-on bags. Children 12 and younger are allowed to accompany their parents or guardians who are enrolled in the program into the PreCheck lane, and last year, the agency started allowing teenagers 13 to 17 to do the same if they are traveling on the same reservation and have the TSA PreCheck mark on their boarding pass.

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