The U.S. Transportation Security Administration expects to screen more than 14 million people at airports during the Labor Day holiday weekend, with Friday projected to be the busiest day.
Arrive early and “pack your patience,” TSA administrator David Pekoske said Tuesday.
The TSA said it expects nearly 3 million air travelers at airports’ security checkpoints on Friday. Traveler volumes during the summer travel period are higher than summer 2019, “marking the busiest summer travel period on record,” the agency said.
For Labor Day weekend, which the TSA extends through Sept. 6, passenger volumes are expected to be 11% higher than last year.
Demand for air travel has remained elevated throughout the summer, keeping airfares high and tempers frayed in the skies and at airports.
Related: American Airlines fined for leaving thousands stranded on tarmac
Delta Air Lines Inc.
Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in July that, after years of spending on goods, consumers now want to travel, and air-travel tickets are their No. 1 big-ticket purchase priority.
Airlines are also counting on a busy post-summer shoulder season, either with rising numbers of business travelers or as those with more flexible plans, priced out of summer tickets, choose to travel in September and October.
At the same time, aviation infrastructure is still fragile, as airlines struggle to get new, and more fuel-efficient, planes, with order books at Boeing Co.
and Airbus SE
stretching into the next decade.
See also: Boeing’s 737 Max sales to China is a ‘significant positive’ for jet maker
The U.S. Global JETS ETF
has gained 14% in the year to date, compared with an advance of around 17% for the S&P 500 index