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TSA airport screenings hit an all-time high

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“We expect this summer to be our busiest ever and summer travel usually peaks over the Independence Day holiday,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement.

Pekoske added: “The traveling public is on the move, which is a sign of a healthy economy. We are ready, along with our airline and airport partners, to handle this boost in passenger volumes.”

The previous record was set last year on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving.

Airlines for America, a trade group representing major U.S. airlines, has also forecast record summer travel, with passenger counts expected to total 271 million passengers, up 6.3% from last year. Daily flight counts are also expected to climb 5.6%.

In a new presentation on the state of the industry, the group said the record passenger volumes continued to be driven by “post-pandemic YOLOism” — or “you only live once” spending impulses — along with a shift toward hybrid work that has enabled travelers to log-in while on the move.

Older consumers, who the group says have put greater emphasis on experiences like travel, have especially helped buoy passenger volumes, it added, noting that Americans aged 65 and older now constitute the greatest share of spending among all age groups.

Demand remains strongest for international travel, which has outpaced domestic travel each month of 2024 so far. The most popular destinations include Latin American countries, as well as Spain and Italy.

Meanwhile, the price of air travel continues to drop. In the first five months of 2024, fares dropped nearly 9% from the same time last year after adjusting for inflation — and are down 17% compared to the same period pre-pandemic in 2019 after adjusting for inflation.

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