Thanksgiving travel: 2.3m people headed for US over holiday

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption TSA agents are on a three-week strike

This year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel record shattered all expectations, with more than 2.3 million people heading for the US.

The new figure exceeds 2017’s number by 33%, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Twenty-two-hundred flights were cancelled or delayed for the holiday period, down from 258 on last year.

The TSA warned that additional security measures could result in longer lines this year.

The risk of a flu pandemic due to widespread seasonal flu is high, and travellers are being urged to be vigilant.

American Airlines warned on Monday that it might not be able to offer flights if there is a severe flu season and that the disruption would hurt business.

The Thanksgiving period runs from 29 November 2018 until 10 December, and the holiday was on a Monday this year.

This year’s numbers stand at 3.6 million passengers and their luggage and 2.3 million checked bags.

More than 250 flights were cancelled by Tuesday evening.

On Sunday morning, 36 flights were cancelled and 17 delayed at New York’s John F Kennedy airport, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware.

The TSA said in a statement: “The vast majority of flights experienced delays of less than five minutes… Travelers should arrive to the airport at least three hours before their departure time to ensure they will not miss their flights.

“TSA has taken steps to ensure our officers are working safely and efficiently and by evening rush Friday [13 November] we had seen approximately 48,500 TSA officers out.”

In 2017, 34.2 million people travelled across the US for Thanksgiving.

During the winter, the TSA said, it expects to screen roughly 700 million passengers and baggage annually.

Leave a Comment