United States

U.S. expects to screen 20 million air travelers during Thanksgiving period

2 minute read

People enter the baggage claim area from the international arrivals terminal as the U.S. reopens air and land borders to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccinated travellers for the first time since the COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle, Washington, U.S. November 8, 2021. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday it expects to screen about 20 million air passengers during the busy Thanksgiving travel period.

The TSA said airport security checkpoints nationwide will be busy in the period that starts Friday and runs through Nov. 28, and that passenger volumes "may be very close to pre-pandemic levels this holiday"

Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) said it expects to fly up to 5.6 million passengers from Friday through Nov. 30, nearly 300% over 2020's 2.2 million Delta passengers for the period but still below the 6.3 million passengers during the same period in 2019.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

United Airlines said it anticipates more than 4.5 million passengers during the Thanksgiving travel period - about 88% of 2019 volume.

United said it was adding about 700 domestic flights for Thanksgiving week, and would fly 87% of its 2019 domestic schedule in November.

Last week, the Biden administration lifted travel restrictions for fully vaccinated air travelers from 33 countries including China, South Africa, Brazil and much of Europe.

Airlines for America, an industry trade group, said that in the week ending Nov. 9 U.S. airline passenger volumes were 13% below pre-pandemic levels, with domestic air travel down 11% and international down 30%.

Travel group AAA forecasts 53.4 million people will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, up 13% from 2020 with most travelers going by car. The United States also last week lifted restrictions on fully vaccinated tourists traveling across land borders from Mexico and Canada.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com
Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters