TSA expecting Thanksgiving air travel to return to 2019 levels

Thanksgiving air travel is expected to be back at pre-pandemic numbers following a significant decrease in 2020 due to the coronavirus, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

TSA Administrator David Pekoske told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that his organization is “prepared” to handle an increase in passengers but that travelers should expect long lines at airports and plan accordingly, The Associated Press reported.

A record 26 million travelers and flight crew members passed through TSA screening in 2019 during the period around Thanksgiving, according to the AP. 

Pekoske said he is not worried about the vaccine requirement going into effect for TSA agents Monday having an impact on staffing for the week of Thanksgiving, but he expressed concerned about the issue of unruly passengers. 

“The level of unruly behavior is much higher than I’ve ever seen it,” Pekoske told Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “Today.”

The Federal Aviation Administration announced last week that they have levied more than $225,000 in fines for 10 airline passengers since the start of the year. 

Pekoske’s comments follow an analysis from Adobe Digital Insights last week showing Thanksgiving travel on track to exceed the record 2019 holiday week by 3.2 percent. 

Tags airport screenings holiday travel Thanksgiving travel Transportation Security Administration

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