As the summer comes to a close, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) revealed it broke several records for the number of people screened at airports across the United States.
During the 2019 summer travel season that ran from the Wednesday before Memorial Day until the Tuesday after Labor Day, TSA employees screened 262 million passengers and crew members, an almost 3.4 percent increase over last year during the same period.
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In addition, security officers screened nearly 164 million pieces of checked baggage.
TSA officials also announced the agency experienced nine of the top 10 busiest weeks in its history during the summer season, which was handled by more than 2,000 additional officers brought in to meet operational demands.
“The anniversary of the September 11 attacks is a regular reminder of the importance of TSA’s mission to protect the traveling public,” TSA Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell said in a statement. “Despite the requirements of screening these record numbers of travelers and their belongings, our people remain dedicated to safety and security above all else.”
Despite the record-breaking numbers across the country, TSA said 99.7 percent of passengers waited less than 30 minutes in standard lanes and 98.9 percent of TSA PreCheck lane passengers waited less than 10 minutes.
TSA officials have now shifted their focus to the upcoming Thanksgiving and winter holiday travel periods, and the agency is providing some advice for airline passengers, including checking bags for prohibited items and packing carry-on luggage so they can be easily screened.
Nobody should be surprised though, as TSA did predict it would be their busiest summer in history.