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Thanksgiving Travel at D.C.-Area Airports Expected to Hit Pre-Pandemic Levels

Expect airport travel in the D.C. region to approach pre-pandemic levels for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Transportation Security Administration says.

TSA officials said travel volume at D.C.-area airports may not reach the record levels of the 2019 Thanksgiving period but will be markedly higher than last year, WTOP reported.

“Travelers should expect to see a very busy airport if they are traveling during the Thanksgiving time frame,” said Reginald Stephens, TSA acting federal security director for BWI Marshall International Airport, WTOP reported.

In 2019, the Sunday after Thanksgiving was the highest travel day in TSA history, with roughly 2.9 million people screened at security checkpoints throughout the country. By comparison, that number fell to 1.2 million on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year.

At the three D.C.-area airports — Reagan National, Dulles International and BWI Marshall — TSA officials anticipate a return closer to pre-pandemic levels for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday period, which runs from Friday to Sunday, Nov. 28.

Scott T. Johnson, TSA federal security director for Reagan National and Dulles, said the airports are ready to handle the increased volume and don’t expect any staffing shortages stemming from the federal employee vaccine mandate over the holiday period, WTOP reported.

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