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Flying This Summer? TSA Says It Will Be the Busiest Ever

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Victoria M. Walker
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Victoria M. Walker

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Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Carrying On with Victoria...
Edited by: Nick Ellis
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Nick Ellis

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced on May 16, 2024, that this summer will be the busiest travel season on record.

Here’s some advice to streamline your travel this summer.

Traveling This Summer Will Be Busier Than Ever Before

If you plan to travel this summer, TSA says you should be prepared for a busy season.

The agency says May 24, 2024, will be the busiest travel day, anticipating nearly 3 million travelers ahead of Memorial Day Weekend. Between May 23 and 29, 2024, the TSA anticipates screening more than 18 million passengers and crew — an increase of more than 6% compared to last year. It advises travelers to give themselves plenty of time to get through security screening.

TSA considers the summer travel season to be Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Harry Reid International Airport TSA PreCheck sign
Image Credit: Harry Reid International Airport

“In close coordination with airport, airline, and travel partners, we are more than ready to handle this summer’s increased travel volumes,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We are also continuing to deploy state-of-the-art checkpoint technology that increases security effectiveness, efficiency and enhances the passenger experience and our retention and recruitment numbers are the highest they’ve ever been.”

How To Get Through TSA Screening This Summer

Now that you’re aware of the busy travel season, it’s time to prepare yourself for security screening before you get to the airport.

The agency says travelers should keep the following tips in mind before you get to the airport:

  • Be aware of new checkpoint technology
  • Firearms must be in your checked baggage. They must be packed unloaded, locked in a hard-sided case, and declared to the airline when checking in
  • Check the “What Can I Bring?” page and remember the 3-1-1 rule
  • Make sure you have a REAL ID or another approved ID
  • Make sure your Known Traveler Number (KTN) is in your reservation when booking

However, there are other ways to ease the stress of traversing the airport.

The first is having a TSA PreCheck membership, which expedites the security screening process for low-risk travelers. The most notable benefits include leaving your shoes on and keeping your laptop in your bag. Dozens of airlines and more than 200 airports participate in TSA PreCheck. Enrolling in the service, in some cases, can even mean making or missing your flight, particularly at airports with long TSA wait times

Hot Tip:

A TSA PreCheck application costs $78 (or $70 if renewing online). However, several credit cards will reimburse the application fee for TSA PreCheck.

Final Thoughts

If you’re flying this summer, particularly during Memorial Day Weekend, you can prepare for the airport ahead of time by packing smartly, linking your KTN to your reservation, and, most importantly, by being patient. Proper planning ahead of time will help you avoid major frustrations once you get to the airport!

Victoria M. Walker's image

About Victoria M. Walker

Victoria holds a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the Howard University School of Communications and is an award-winning journalist, travel reporter, and the founder of the “Carrying On with Victoria M. Walker” newsletter.

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