The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that it screened a record 2.95 million airline passengers on Friday, marking the highest single-day figure. This surge in travel aligns with the onset of the US summer travel season over the Memorial Day weekend.

Airlines for America anticipates a historic summer travel period, estimating a 6.3% increase from last year to 271 million passengers. The TSA highlighted that the record set on Friday surpassed the previous high set in November, with five of the top 10 busiest travel days occurring since May 16.

US carriers are primed to operate over 26,000 daily flights this summer, signifying a 5.6% uptick from 2023, when they served 255 million passengers. American Airlines is set to elevate its flights by 10% and expects approximately 3.9 million passengers on 36,000 flights during the Memorial Day travel period from May 23-28.

During the same period, United Airlines forecasts a nearly 10% increase to 3 million travelers, while Delta Air Lines anticipates a 5% surge to nearly 3 million customers from May 23-27. However, this heightened travel demand transpires amid challenges faced by the Federal Aviation Administration in addressing the persistent shortage of air traffic controllers.

Given the congestion issues, the FAA extended cuts to minimum flight requirements at New York City-area airports through October due to staffing concerns. Major airlines have even requested an extension of these cuts through October 2025, as the industry grapples with operational constraints.