TSA Tops 1.2 Million Screenings Last Weekend For The First Time Since March

The June 5th weekend was the busiest one for the TSA since March. Over 1.2 million passengers passed through US security checkpoints between Friday and Sunday– another sign of a rebounding domestic market. Though still far from 2019’s incredible summer for airlines, there is a ray of hope.

Delta and United
US Airlines have seen more people get onboard aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

How many people traveled last weekend?

The TSA has been regularly publishing its daily total traveler throughput since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the daily numbers for last weekend:

  • June 5th: 419,675 passengers
  • June 6th: 353,016 passengers
  • June 7th: 441,255 passengers

Back on Thursday, June 4th, the TSA screened 391,882 passengers. On the May 29th-31st weekend, the TSA recorded the following passenger counts:

  • May 29th: 327,133
  • May 30th: 268,867
  • May 31st: 352,946

Comparing each day of the week, this was the passenger growth:

  • May 29th vs June 5th: +92,542 passengers (~+28%)
  • May 30th vs June 6th: +84,149 passengers (~+31%)
  • May 31st vs June 7th: +88,309 passengers (~+25%)
Getty passengesr
Passenger travel has been ticking upwards, as seen in security screening numbers. Photo: Getty Images

The total number of travelers between June 5th and 7th was 1,213,946. Compared to the 948,946 passengers screened between May 29th and 31st, there was a roughly 28% increase in the number of passengers traveling. The last time the TSA recorded over one million passengers over a weekend was the weekend of March 20th. June 5th is also notable in that it was the first time the TSA screened over 400,000 passengers since March 22nd.

When will passenger travel hit the millions per day?

This is anybody’s best guess. If passenger growth remains steady, then it could happen by July or August. Historically, the northern summer season is one of the best for US airlines. This year, however, will look a lot different. Fewer people will be out and about thanks to a plethora of international travel restrictions and the closure of some key tourist destinations.

The reopening of states and cities will determine how passenger travel grows. Photo: Getty Images

However, the US is continuing its track for opening up state-by-state. As more places reopen, passenger travel should continue to tick upwards. And, with the upcoming July 4th US Independence Day holiday, there could be a spike in the number of travelers. The last holiday, Memorial Day, on May 26th, saw more people traveling and kicked off a summer season that, thus far, has seen growth.

Airlines are already starting to prepare with increases to their flight schedules. While some cities are losing services per the US Department of Transportation’s order, plenty of municipalities will see a resumption of previously suspended flights and contribute to overall growth in the number of passengers.

American Airlines
American is gearing up for increased passenger travel this summer. Photo: Getty Images

How to prepare for travel

The COVID-era travel experience is much different than it was before. Inflight, airlines have pared-back services while requiring masks for all passengers (wear one). At the same time, expect to receive less meal service in all cabin classes so it would not hurt to bring a few extra snacks with you onboard. The same is true for nonalcoholic beverages. It is illegal to drink your own alcoholic beverages while onboard a US airline.

Are you going to fly this summer? When do you think we will see millions of passengers per day again? Let us know in the comments!