Thanksgiving flight reaches near pre-pandemic level: TSA

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Thanksgiving travelers flocked to the air this week ahead of the holidays – with the number of air travelers audited by the Transportation Security Administration nearly matching in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

TSA so i a tweet On Thursday, approximately 2.3 million passengers at US airports were surveyed on Wednesday, which is approximately 88 percent of the traffic registered the day before Thanksgiving 2019.

The airports were similarly packed on Tuesday, with more than 2.2 million passengers taking to the skies, the agency said in another tweet. That figure corresponds to approximately 91 percent of the traffic registered on the corresponding day in 2019.

Travelers will pass through security at Denver International Airport on November 24, 2021.
RJ Sangosti / MediaNews Group / The Denver Post via Getty Images

Talking to CNN, TSA chef David Pekoske said that the agency’s focus is to ensure that all travelers are safe in the midst of the increase in the number of passengers.

“We have looked at passenger volume forecasts, we have worked with the airlines and with the airports, and together we are ready for the Thanksgiving weekend,” said Pekoske. “Our goal is to make it as safe and secure and as fun for people as we can.”

On Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he was lead federal prosecutors to prioritize matters relating to unruly air passengers after a series of notable disruptions to aircraft in recent months.

Passengers fly from an airplane after landing at Albuquerque International Sunport on November 24, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Passengers depart from Albuquerque International Sunport on November 24, 2021.
Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

In a memo, Garland said that the violent behavior that has become common among air travelers is endangering everyone on board a flight.

“Passengers who assault, intimidate or threaten flight crews and flight attendants do more than harm their employees; they prevent the performance of critical tasks that help ensure safe air travel,” Garland said in a memo.

“Similarly, when passengers commit violent acts against other passengers in the vicinity of a commercial aircraft, the behavior endangers everyone on board,” he added.

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