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TSA expects passenger volume for '22 holiday travel season to flirt with pre-pandemic levels

Posted at 4:56 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 18:46:58-05

CLEVELAND — Millions of Americans will be hitting the road or taking to the skies this holiday season and both the TSA and AAA expect travelers will feel a sense of normalcy after pandemic-related challenges the past two years. Both the TSA and AAA anticipate passenger volume to be near or at pre-pandemic levels this holiday season.

According to TSA passenger volume data, the total number of passengers to go through security checkpoints at the nation’s airports from Nov. 20-22 all surpassed the total number of passengers last year. This year’s passenger data is also more than double the number of passengers in that same time period in 2020.

Although passenger volumes are still slightly off 2019’s totals, the numbers are up to 99% of pre-pandemic levels.


To capitalize on the return of holiday travel, Destination Cleveland offered travelers an especially warm welcome on Wednesday, handing out swag bags, sweet treats and guides on Cleveland’s attractions.

“We’re throwing a great big party here in the baggage claim today. We have a DJ playing music,” said Jen Brasdovich. “We are also providing resources for people when they get here. We have official insider’s guide that we are handing out as well as maps that we are giving out to people. Just really make sure they know what Cleveland is all about. We call it a surprising delight for a reason. We know the holiday travel season can be stressful so when you get off a plane and come down the stairs and there is music playing while you are picking up your bags. There are people giving you cookies and cake pops and tote bags and water, that can really change your mood when you get off the plane during the stressful holiday season.”

Throughout much of the day Wednesday, lines at the check-in desks and security checkpoints were more than manageable, prompting wait times under 10 minutes. Buoyed by the pristine weather across the region, there were very few delays.

“I would say today has been the easiest of all my flying experiences. It’s been pretty varied [since 2020] I’ve had some wild airplane experiences so far,” said Brian Jones, a Houston resident that grew up in the Cleveland area. “We’ve gone to a few places but we have been traveling less. This is actually my first time back in a while because of the pandemic.”