Friday, July 19, 2024

More than three million passengers pass through U.S. security, a record

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More than three million people passed through security at US airports on Sunday, according to the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA). .

The feat, which was widely predicted to happen over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, surpassed the milestone of more than 2.99 million passengers that premiered on June 23. Eight of the 10 busiest days in TSA history occurred this year as passenger numbers exceeded levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The TSA was created after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and replaced many private security firms employed by airlines. The agency, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, said on Sunday that agents were screening 35 travelers per second.

As Americans battle inflation, travel costs, including airfares and hotel prices, are down significantly from a year ago. Hotel room bookings were 1.2 percent lower in May than a year earlier, according to the latest government inflation data. These costs have been declining since the beginning of this year.

While most U.S. airlines lost money in the first quarter, traditionally the weakest time of year for travel, all were expecting a summer of packed flights.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines said they expected solid second-quarter profits. They joined Delta Air Lines and United Airlines in offering an optimistic forecast for the April to June period, which includes the start of the peak season for the carriers.

Delta will report its second-quarter earnings on Thursday, with analysts forecasting sales of $15.5 billion, up nearly $1 billion from the same period last year. Next week, United and American will report their quarterly results, with Wall Street expecting higher revenue for both carriers than last year.

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Since the pandemic halted travel four years ago, increasingly full flights have brought airlines a drawback: complaints.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said last week it received nearly 97,000 complaints in 2023, up from 86,000 the year before. The department said it has received many complaints and it will take until July to review the complaints and compile the data.

It is the highest number of complaints against airlines since 2020, when airlines delayed refunding customers after canceling flights due to the pandemic.

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