Federal agencies, airlines prepping for record number of holiday travelers

Washington D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – A record number of travelers are expected to fly this holiday week, and federal agencies are already preparing for the rush.

The Transportation Security Administration is expecting more than 26.8 million passengers and crew members to come through checkpoints across the United States. Chad Wolf, the acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, says that’s a good thing.

“That means the economy is strong, people are flying, getting to their destinations,” Wolf said.

But with more foot traffic comes longer wait times. Not knowing how long airport security lines will be can get frustrating for travelers. Wolf says there’s an app for that.

“They can check the TSA Mobile App to look at wait times at local airports and make decisions that way,” Wolf said.

With the anticipated number of travelers this holiday, the airline industry is also planning ahead.

“Airlines in particular have been adding staff at every part of your travel experience,” Rebecca Spicer with Airlines for America said. “So from the curb to the ticket counter to boarding your plane to baggage claim, you’re going to see more airline employees.”

Spicer says airlines are also adding more than 800 flights to their schedules each day over the holiday travel period. That’s 100,000 more seats in the sky.

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