- TSA expects to screen 20 million passengers during the Thanksgiving holiday, more than double last year.
- Airlines have increased staff and made website changes to prepare for the crowds.
- Flight attendants and the FAA are encouraging passengers to behave to avoid unruly passenger violence.
The airline industry is gearing up for a busy — and possibly tumultuous — holiday travel season.
United Airlines told Insider it expects the Sunday after Thanksgiving to be the busiest travel day since before the pandemic with 450,000 customers in the air.
United said it expects 4.5 million to fly between November 19 and November 30, or 88% of the volume of the 2019 holiday season. A Delta spokesperson said the company will operate an average of 4,100 departures to 267 destinations between November 19 and November 30.
The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen 20 million passengers during the Thanksgiving holiday period between November 19 and November 28, more than double the amount of passengers screened in the same period last year.
Though TSA said it does not expect this year’s travel to reach pre-pandemic levels, Americans had begun buying Thanksgiving and Christmas flights in early 2021 due to the discounted rates airlines had offered to get people back in the sky.
If the amount of passengers screened exceeds expectations, airlines risk flight cancellations due to short staffing and bad weather. Last month, Southwest Airlines left thousands of passengers stranded due to “air traffic control issues” and extreme weather.
Southwest told Insider it reduced flight schedules in November and December to prepare for the holiday travel season, and expects to hire about 5,000 new employees in the fall and winter to help with capacity.
Airlines for America, a trade…