In what could be the busiest day for airlines since prior to the pandemic, the Transportation Security Administration anticipates checking around 20 million passengers in as Thanksgiving approaches. Many were unable to travel last Thanksgiving as Covid-19 cases surged, with unnecessary travel being highly discouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We anticipate that travel may be very close to pre-pandemic levels this holiday, and we are staffed and prepared for the holiday travelers," TSA administrator David Pekoske said. "We have deployed technologies that enhance detection capabilities and reduce physical contact. With overall vaccination rates improving nationwide and greater confidence in healthy travel, there will be more people traveling so plan ahead, remain vigilant and practice kindness.”

As one of the industries devastated by the pandemic, a growing number of travelers is a great sign for airlines. However, labor shortages have been a huge issue over the last two years with many carriers struggling to satisfy their hectic schedules, leading to many flight cancellations. 

In an effort to avoid staffing shortages, American Airlines is willing to give flight attendants up to three times more pay if they work during the holidays.

“It’s going to be a busy holiday season,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said on Wednesday. “We’re ready for it.”