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TSA Screens Record-Breaking Number of Travelers Over Holidays



The Transportation Security Administration broke records over the holidays, screening more than 43.8 million passengers and crew members during the holiday time period (December 19 to January 5). This is a 4 percent increase from the holiday period of 2018.

Friday, December 27, saw the most action, with more than 2.6 million travelers passing through TSA security checkpoints nationwide. On an average day, TSA screens about 2.1 to 2.2 million travelers.

The holidays are a particularly stressful time for those in the travel industry. “TSA officers, as well as law enforcement and industry partners, worked long hours during the holiday period to ensure safe and secure holiday travel,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Our checkpoints were fully staffed and many officers worked overtime to screen millions of passengers on their way to and from their holiday destinations.”

TSA made sure to remind passengers of the essentials when traveling during the holidays:

—Passengers should get to the airport early enough to allow time to check-in and get through the security screening process

—Passengers should pack smart; they can use TSA tools such as the MyTSA app or search “What can I bring?” on

—Passengers should obtain or renew TSA PreCheck membership

—Passengers should be aware of the upcoming deadline for REAL ID enforcement beginning October 1

As a result of the TSA’s diligence, 99.8 percent of all passengers nationwide waited less than 30 minutes in a checkpoint line, despite the large crowds. Of passengers who were in a TSA PreCheck lane, 99.1 percent waited less than 10 minutes in a security checkpoint line.

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Airline News

Airlines Scaling Back On Some In-Flight Services Due to Coronavirus



A few airlines, including those already affected by the coronavirus outbreak, have begun scaling back on some in-flight services as a way to help fight the virus.

The Points Guy writes that Singapore Airlines – obviously based in Asia, where the coronavirus has been most dangerous after originating in China – recently sent its frequent fliers an email about such changes.

Singapore advised its customers that some in-flight amenities will be discontinued, such as hot towel service, after-takeoff drink service, removal of reading materials from seat-back pockets, and suspension of in-flight sales.

Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research, said that Chinese and Taiwanese carriers have taken similar precautionary steps based on government guidance, including removing pillows and blankets on some flights.

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“They’re changing their cabin service procedures, so the passengers will notice this,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy.

But Harteveldt also remained optimistic that passengers wouldn’t pitch a fit given the circumstances.

“Passengers will accept (the reduction in services) because they’re being done in the interest of health and wellness,” he said.

As the virus, now known as covid-19, continues to expand globally, it remains to be seen if other airlines – including those based in the U.S. who offer international travel – adopt the same practice.

The aviation industry is quite often a copycat business, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some similar changes put into place.

“As adults, we have to be logical and rational when we experience these inconveniences,” Harteveldt told The Points Guy. “This isn’t cost-cutting, this isn’t random, this is in the best interest of public health.”

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