Record 3 million passengers passed through TSA checkpoints on Sunday

Agents with the Transportation Security Administration screened more than 3 million passengers at U.S. airports on Sunday, a record number underscoring the popularity of air travel this year.

Exactly 3,013,413 flight passengers stepped through TSA checkpoints, surpassing the previous record of 2.99 million set on June 23. Sunday was a one-day record, but TSA officials said 2024 has been a historic year all around. Nine of the 10 busiest days in TSA history have happened this year, starting on May 25 when agents screened roughly 2.9 million travelers. 

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Monday that TSA agents, in “an extraordinary achievement,” effectively checked-in 35 passengers and their luggage every second during an intensely busy weekend. 

Flight fares dip slightly

One reason TSA experienced the record volume might be flight prices, which had dipped slightly during the holiday weekend. 

The average cost of a domestic plane ticket during the July 4th weekend was $315, down from $347 a week prior, according to price tracker Hopper. The average flight fare this summer is $305 compared with $324 last summer and $313 in 2018 — before the pandemic. Flight tickets were 2% cheaper during the holiday compared with Independence Day fares in 2023, according to AAA.

The TSA was created in November 2011 after the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The agency replaced a collection of private security companies hired by airlines to do passenger screenings. 

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