TSA screens over 72 million passengers and crew during record-breaking spring travel season

Staff Report | DFW Newsflash | April 2018

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) set another screening record during the 2018 spring travel period, March 15 through April 15, with more than 72 million (72,137,639) passengers and nearly 45 million (44,698,036) checked bags screened nationwide. This represents an almost five percent increase over the same period last year.

“Our officers continue to be very effective even with a record number of travelers this season,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “What’s even more impressive is that TSA completed the roll-out of enhanced screening procedures while screening nearly five percent more passengers than last year, thanks to our skilled and dedicated people.” 

The enhanced screening procedures for carry-on baggage, which began at a handful of airports in late summer 2017 are a part of a greater effort to raise the baseline for aviation security. The measures require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes. Travelers may also be asked to separate dense foods, powders and other items to allow screening officers to obtain a clear X-ray image for security purposes.

Although the volume of individuals screened was notably high, 95.3 percent of all passengers waited less than 20 minutes at the checkpoint and nearly 93 percent (92.5) of passengers who were in a TSA Pre✓® lane waited less than 5 minutes.

On an average travel day, TSA screens approximately 2.1 million passengers and crew. In the busiest days during the holiday travel period, TSA screened as many as 400,000 more passengers per day than usual.

TSA’s 10 highest volume airports during the spring travel season (March 15 – April 15):

AirportTotal Passengers and Crew Screened
Los Angeles International (LAX)3,684,488
John F. Kennedy International (JFK)2,856,974
Chicago-O’Hare International (ORD)2,570,336
San Francisco International (SFO)2,342,753
Orlando International (MCO)2,296,304
Hartsfield Atlanta International (ATL)2,273,176
McCarran International (LAS)2,107,528
Miami International (MIA)2,011,107
Newark International (EWR)1,997,744
Denver International (DEN)1,915,800