More than 1.6M passengers screened at airports nationwide over weekend

More than 1.6 million people have passed through airports nationwide over the past three days, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

On Monday, more than 878,000 passengers were screened while more than 1.5 million people were screened over Saturday and Sunday, according to the agency’s latest figures. 

Checkpoint volume has steadily dropped since the holidays when Americans traveled in record numbers. 

Just two days before Christmas, TSA screened more than 1.1 million people on one single day. A few days after New Year’s Eve, the agency screened more than 1.3 million people, the highest checkpoint volume since the pandemic hit.

However, this time, travelers may notice heightened security measures, specifically at major airports around Washington, D.C. 

Following the deadly riot at the Capitol, federal agencies began working to increase security measures before President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris take the oath of office.

The TSA previously said it will put more air marshals on some flights and travelers will see a noticeable increase in police officers, bomb-detecting dogs and random screenings. 

Federal officials also began investigating people who took part in the riot to determine whether they should be barred from traveling on airlines.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske said his agency is “processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment.” He said TSA was working “to ensure those who may pose a threat to our aviation sector undergo enhanced screening or are prevented from boarding an aircraft.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also issued several warnings starting that any passenger who “disrupts or threatens the safety of a flight” may face severe penalties including $35,000 fines and 20 years in prison. 

In a recent memo to employees, Delta CEO Ed Bastian also noted that any passenger who refuses “to display basic civility” to employees or fellow travelers will not be allowed to fly with the airline “ever again.” 


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