TSA Is Predicting the Busiest Holiday Travel Season Ever

The federal agency is expecting almost 3 million travelers in just one day.

It's about to get pretty chaotic at the airport.

You may have already heard similar predictions about holiday travel this year, but now we have some cold hard data to back it up. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) just announced that it is forecasting the busiest holiday travel season ever this year. In other words, your local airport is about to get packed, and you should be factoring in some extra time if you're planning to catch a flight during the holidays.

According to an official TSA announcement released Monday, Thanksgiving travel will officially start on Friday, November 17 and it will end on Tuesday, November 28. During that time, TSA is forecasting that 30 million passengers will be traveling through airports, with Sunday, November 26 expected to be the busiest day, counting up to 2.9 million passengers. Wednesday, November 22 should be the runner-up, with the TSA expecting 2.7 million travelers on that day, while Tuesday, November 21 is likely to be the third busiest day for Thanksgiving travel with 2.6 million projected passengers passing through TSA security.

Currently, the record for the busiest day in 2023 (and in TSA's history) goes to Friday, June 30, which counted almost 2.9 million passengers screened across the US. This year, during the Thanksgiving travel period, the record is expected to be broken.

"We expect this holiday season to be our busiest ever. In 2023, we have already seen seven of the top 10 busiest travel days in TSA's history," TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in an official statement. "We are ready for the anticipated volumes and are working closely with our airline and airport partners to make sure we are prepared for this busy holiday travel season. We will also do our best to maintain wait time standards of under 10 minutes for TSA PreCheck lanes and under 30 minutes for standard screening lanes. I am grateful for our dedicated employees who continue to remain vigilant and focused on the mission during this holiday travel season and beyond."

For more information and to read TSA's tips to make your travel experience smoother, you can visit this website. Additionally, here's some advice on how to get through security more quickly and more efficiently according to the TSA itself.

Looking for more travel tips?

Whether you need help sneaking weed onto a plane, finding an airport where you can sign up for PreCheck without an appointment, or making sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to when your flight is canceled, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for up-to-date travel hacks and all the travel news you need to help you plan your next big adventure.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.