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US airports on track for ‘busiest ever’ Thanksgiving season


By Gregory Wallace and Pete Muntean, CNN

(CNN) — US airports are on the verge of setting more travel records as huge numbers of travelers have been taking to the skies over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Transportation Security Administration said Monday it’s nearing its anticipated 30 million passengers total over the holiday period.

The agency said it had screened 24.7 million people in its holiday period – including a single-day record of 2.9 million on Sunday – with two days still to go.

It told CNN it expects to screen 2.67 million passengers on Monday – more than half of the remaining number to reach the 30 million milestone which it forecast would signal a “busier than ever” holiday travel season.

TSA now counts a 12-day period that starts the Friday before Thanksgiving and concludes the Tuesday after as its busy window.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske told CNN that travelers are leaving earlier and staying longer because of post-pandemic shifting travel patterns, meaning Tuesday could still be a relatively busy day.

And the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, while still a busy travel day with more than 2.7 people screened at US airports, wouldn’t rank in the top 10 busiest travel days ever as holiday travelers spread out their visits over more days.

The agency’s numbers show four of its five busiest days ever happened this year, including Sunday and three days at the height of summer travel.  The only travel day from a previous year still in the top five was the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019.

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