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Thanksgiving air travel hits near pre-pandemic degree: TSA

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Thanksgiving vacationers flocked to the air this week forward of the vacation — with the variety of air vacationers screened by the Transportation Security Administration practically matching that of 2019, earlier than the coronavirus pandemic hit. 

The TSA said in a tweet Thursday that it screened roughly 2.3 million vacationers at US airports on Wednesday, which is about 88 p.c of the visitors recorded on the day earlier than Thanksgiving in 2019. 

The airports have been equally packed on Tuesday, with greater than 2.2 million passengers taking to the skies, the company mentioned in another tweet. That determine is the same as about 91 p.c of the visitors recorded on the corresponding day in 2019. 

Travelers make their way through TSA security at Denver International Airport the day before Thanksgiving on November 24, 2021 in Denver, Colorado.
Travelers make their means by means of safety at Denver International Airport on Nov. 24, 2021.
RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post through Getty Images

Speaking to CNN, TSA chief David Pekoske mentioned the company’s focus is to make sure all vacationers are secure amid the surge in aircraft ridership. 

“We’ve looked at passenger volume projections, we’ve worked with the carriers and with the airports, and collectively we’re ready for the Thanksgiving holiday,” Pekoske mentioned. “Our goal is to make it as safe and secure and as enjoyable for people as we possibly can.”

On Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland mentioned he was directing federal prosecutors to prioritize instances involving unruly airline passengers after a string of high-profile disturbances on planes in current months. 

Passengers deplane from an airplane after landing at the Albuquerque International Sunport on November 24, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Passengers deplane at Albuquerque International Sunport on Nov. 24, 2021.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

In a memo, Garland mentioned the violent conduct that’s turn into frequent amongst air vacationers endangers everybody aboard a flight. 

“Passengers who assault, intimidate or threaten violence against flight crews and flight attendants do more than harm those employees; they prevent the performance of critical duties that help ensure safe air travel,” Garland mentioned within the memo.

“Similarly, when passengers commit violent acts against other passengers in the close confines of a commercial aircraft, the conduct endangers everyone aboard,” he added.

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