TSA expecting record-breaking travel nationwide, high volume at Lambert Airport

TSA expecting record-breaking travel nationwide, high volume at Lambert Airport
TSA expecting record-breaking travel nationwide, high volume at Lambert Airport
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 5:39 AM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is projecting a record-breaking holiday travel season this year and is expecting St. Louis Lambert International Airport to see a high volume of passengers, as well.

“We expect this holiday season to be our busiest ever. In 2023, we have already seen seven of the top 10 busiest travel days in TSA’s history,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

The travel rush kicks off with Thanksgiving travel starting Friday, Nov. 17 and concluding Tuesday, Nov. 28. During that 12-day stretch, TSA expects to screen 30 million passengers. Here in St. Louis, TSA predicts to screen just over 200,000 passengers, a number not seen since 2018.

“You’re at the hands of the pilots and the airlines and things like that,” Brad Hurlbut, who traveled through Lambert Sunday morning, said. “There’s really nothing you can do. Just get here early and hope your flight is on time.”

Hurlbut said he had had no issues or delays with TSA or his flight from St. Louis to New York. Delays at Lambert can be found by clicking here.

Over the course of the 12-day holiday travel span, TSA predicts to screen tens of thousands of people at STL:

  • Fri. 11/17 - 20,603
  • Sat. 11/18 - 15,154
  • Sun. 11/19 - 16,390
  • Mon. 11/20 - 16,306
  • Tue. 11/21 - 20,819
  • Wed. 11/22 - 20,485
  • Thurs. 11/23 - 11,702
  • Fri. 11/24 - 15,970
  • Sat. 11/25 - 19,859
  • Sun. 11/26 - 23,664
  • Mon. 11/27 - 19,156
  • PROJECTED TOTAL: 200,108

Lambert has not seen a total that high during the same stretch since 2018 when TSA screened 202,146 people.

Sunday morning, First Alert 4 saw zero delays and no canceled flights at STL. Those in the security line at Terminal 2 said it was quick and efficient.

“We are ready for the anticipated volumes and are working closely with our airline and airport partners to make sure we are prepared for this busy holiday travel season. We will also do our best to maintain wait time standards of under 10 minutes for TSA PreCheck® lanes and under 30 minutes for standard screening lanes,” Pekoske said.

TSA recommends passengers arrive at the airport two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international trips.

“Get here early and get a bite to eat,” Hurlbut told First Alert 4. “You never know what you’ll run into at TSA.”

Other travel tips from TSA can be found by clicking here.