TSA 'confident' about handling Thanksgiving rush with travel volumes expected to reach 2019 levels

The Transportation Security Administration is preparing for a busy Thanksgiving travel period as millions of people are expected to take to the skies for the holiday.

The TSA expects the Sunday after Thanksgiving to be the busiest travel day of the year, with an estimated 2.4 million passengers. It expects up to 2.1 million passengers the two days before Thanksgiving and the Monday after.

Travel volumes are anticipated to reach 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

The agency says it is confident and has the staffing needed to manage the holiday travel crush, despite a vaccine mandate for TSA agents that's set to take effect on Monday.

"I don't think implementation of the mandate will have any effect on staffing whatsoever for Thanksgiving," TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in an interview on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday.

"In fact, implementation of the mandate will make travel safer and healthier for everyone. We've seen quite a significant increase in the number of our officers that are vaccinated and I'm very confident that there will be no impact for Thanksgiving."

In recent months, some airlines have canceled thousands of flights, causing major travel disruptions.

The TSA says it works closely with airlines and knows in advance when cancellations are going to happen and prepares for that - by bringing more staff in.

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