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This Memorial Day weekend, US airports are experiencing the busiest passenger traffic on record, with more than 2.4 million people passing through TSA checkpoints each day. This surge in travel is setting the stage for a potentially record-breaking summer of travel, with five of the top 10 busiest days in the TSA’s history occurring in the past two weeks alone. On Friday, May 24, a new record was set with 2,951,163 individuals screened at checkpoints nationwide, surpassing the previous record set in 2023. The TSA is advising travelers to arrive early due to the high volume of passengers.

In recent years, Memorial Day weekend saw approximately 9.5 million passengers screened in 2019 and just above 9.8 million in 2023. This year, the TSA expects the four-day total to rise well above 10 million, indicating a continued trend of increasing air travel. Despite the impact of high inflation on Americans’ budgets, there are still many people willing to spend on travel and leisure. The good news is that airline fares have actually dropped slightly from March to April and are down over 1% from February 2020, according to the Consumer Price Index.

In addition to air travel, a record number of Americans are embarking on road trips this Memorial Day weekend, with AAA projecting 38.4 million people hitting the road. Gas prices have risen at the beginning of the year but have stabilized in recent weeks, with the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline at $3.59, just one penny higher than this time last year. The combination of lower airfares and steady gas prices is likely contributing to the increase in both air and road travel.

As the summer progresses, the TSA anticipates the busiest travel season in the agency’s history. Despite concerns about rising prices and inflation, many Americans are still eager to travel, leading to a surge in passenger traffic at US airports. The holiday weekend marks a significant milestone in the recovery of the travel industry, with record-breaking numbers of travelers taking to the skies and roads. With continued monitoring of the situation, it is expected that travel trends will continue to increase throughout the summer season.

This story is still developing, and updated information will be provided as it becomes available. The impact of the Memorial Day weekend on travel patterns and the overall economy will be closely monitored to assess the ongoing recovery of the travel industry. As more people feel comfortable traveling and restrictions ease, the summer of 2024 is shaping up to be a season of increased mobility and activity. The combination of lower airfares, stable gas prices, and a strong desire to travel is driving the surge in passenger traffic seen this holiday weekend.

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