WASHINGTON — For the first time since COVID-19 brought air travel to a standstill, the number of people streaming through U.S. airport-security checkpoints over a holiday weekend exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
The summer travel season ended on a busy note as more than 8.7 million people passed through security in the last four days, topping the Labor Day weekend of 2019.
That is a first for a holiday weekend, the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.
The busiest day was Friday, when TSA screened 2.48 million travelers.
After a problem-plagued start to the summer, travelers encountered relatively few disruptions.
Airlines canceled about 640 U.S. flights between Friday and Monday, 0.6% of the total, according to tracking service FlightAware. That’s less than one-third the cancellation rate between June 1 and Labor Day. Delays were down too.
TSA said screeners found 67 guns in passenger bags between Friday and Monday – very close to the average of 17.3 per day this year. The agency said if that rate continues, 2022 will break last year’s record of 5,972 guns discovered at checkpoints.