Thanksgiving travelers set a new record for air travel, with more than 2.3 million fliers heading through the airport on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said.
According to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) figures, a record 2,325,983 passengers made it through security checkpoints by midday on Wednesday, with the number continuing to rise throughout the day. More than 16 million people flew from the US to other countries on 17 November 2013.
In 2006, a record set on the Friday before Thanksgiving, 3.4 million people passed through airport security checkpoints in the US. Another Monday in November between 5-6.
The airport traffic followed over the previous three months, which saw a 1.5% increase. Passenger numbers have grown 1.4% in the past year, according to the TSA.
DHS chief John Kelly attributed the rising number of passengers to strong economic indicators and abundant fuel prices.
“America is once again in position to lead the world, and I commend all those working to ensure that we have the physical security needed to protect our skies from terrorism, as well as the technological and other security enhancements that make us even safer,” Kelly said in a statement.
Separately, TSA officials said domestic passenger numbers increased 2.6% on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Last year, 18.1 million passengers flew from the US to other countries on the Monday between November 22 and 25.
TSA said travelers should call and check before they head to the airport for flight and flight status information.