Record broken for most passengers screened at US airports, TSA says

ATLANTA– Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, a record was broken for the number of air travelers screened at U.S. airports, the Transportation Security Administration said Saturday.

More than 2.9 million travelers were screened at U.S. airports on Friday, surpassing a previous record set last year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, according to the transportation safety agency.

“Agents set a new record for most travelers screened in one day!” the TSA tweeted. “We recommend arriving early.”

The third busiest day ever was recorded on Thursday, when just under 2.9 million travelers were screened at US airports.

In Atlanta, the world's busiest airport had its busiest day ever. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport broke a traffic record Thursday as 111,000 passengers, airline crews and airport employees were screened at security checkpoints. Friday was the second busiest day when 109,960 people were screened, according to the TSA.

According to Airports Council International, Atlanta's airport was the busiest in the world last year with 104.6 million passengers.

US airlines expect to carry record numbers of passengers this summer. Their trade group estimates that 271 million travelers will fly between June 1 and August 31, breaking last summer's record of 255 million.

AAA predicted this will be the busiest start to the summer weekend in nearly 20 years, with 43.8 million people expected to travel at least 50 miles from home between Thursday and Monday — 38 million of them by car.

The annual display of wanderlust that accompanies the start of the summer travel season comes at a time when Americans are telling pollsters they are concerned about the economy and the direction of the country.

In what has long been celebrated on May 30 to honor America's fallen soldiers, Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971, celebrated on the last Monday in May.

Jason Redman, a retired Navy SEAL who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, told The Associated Press last year that he honors the friends he has lost. He has thirty names tattooed on his arm “for every man I personally knew who died.”

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