Low Airfares Drive July 4 Holiday Travel Surge Airlines Urge Customers to Be Prepared When Flying over the Long Weekend

TSA and Airlines Putting Extra Resources to Address Security Wait Times;

A4A Encourages Passengers to Allow Plenty of Time for Security and Leave the Fireworks at Home

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2016 Airlines for America, the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, has projected summer 2016 passenger volumes to exceed last year’s all-time high by 4 percent – that’s about 2.5 million fliers daily between June 1-August 31. Those numbers are tracking as expected so far this summer. As we look ahead to the busy July 4 holiday, Friday, July 1 looks to be the busiest day of the weekend with 2.4 million fliers, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The nation’s carriers have worked in strong collaboration with airports and the TSA to ensure that the busy summer travel season goes smoothly for our passengers. We continue to be in regular communication with our partners, sharing information about passenger volumes and discussing ways to optimize staffing and resources at the nation’s busiest airports.

Airlines want the travel experience to be as pleasant as possible for our passengers. So we have stepped up to hire contractors and re-assign our employees so that they can help TSA with non-security functions, such as restocking bins, helping move bags to secondary screening and reminding passengers who are waiting in line of the proper procedures to follow as they get screened.

Amid competitive pressures, domestic airfare continued to drop six percent so far this year, according to A4A’s analysis of data provided by member carriers. When we look back through 20 years of DOT’s data on domestic fares, the savings to consumers is even greater, an 18 percent cost savings between Q4 2015 and Q4 1995.

To make your travel as easy as possible, A4A offers the following tips:

1. Arrive at the airport early. It’s not fun to rush to your gate, so give yourself plenty of time for unexpected traffic, parking and getting through the TSA line. Before leaving for the airport, go to the Twitter hashtag #iHateTheWait and check to see if your fellow travelers are sharing information about unusually long lines at your airport. Also, check out MyTSA, an app from the TSA that provides close to real-time wait times for many of the major airports. Once you’re at the TSA line, help other travelers by going to ihatethewait.com and sharing a photo along with your airport code.

2. If you don’t have TSA Pre®, go to the regular security line and follow these simple rules: Make sure all of your liquids, gels and aerosols are less than 3.4 ounces and fit in a quart size, clear plastic bag. Remove liquids from your carry-on and put them in the bin; empty your pockets and remove bulky jewelry; remove your shoes and put them through the x-ray machine; and remove laptops and large electronics and put them alone in a bin. Always make sure to collect all of your belongings before you leave the screening area.

3. If you have TSA Pre®, follow the rules specific to TSA Pre®. After you receive PreCheck status, make note of your Known Traveler Number (KTN) and correctly apply it to any reservations you have. Also make sure to go to the designated TSA Pre✓® lines and remember those with TSA Pre✓® don’t need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets when going through screening. 

4. Be aware of weather conditions across the country. Just because it’s sunny in your departure city doesn’t mean it’s that way everywhere else. Weather delays in one area can have a ripple effect across the whole system, so be sure to keep an eye on summertime thunderstorms popping up around the country. Apps like Flight Aware and Flight View are great resources to staying up-to-date on current conditions. Remember: Your crew’s first priority is your safety and they are doing everything they can to get you to your final destination as quickly as possible.

5. Don’t fly with fireworks. It might be tempting to take some of the festive Fourth of July spirit with you, but fireworks are not allowed in carry-on or checked luggage. Because of their highly flammable nature and varying laws concerning fireworks in individual states, it’s best to keep your fireworks at home.

These easy travel tips will help make your busy holiday weekend go as smoothly as possible. Whether you’re on the way to a relaxing beach getaway, a family reunion or taking in the festivities from our Nation’s Capital, we encourage you to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight.


Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.

A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website airlines.org and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at airlines.org/blog.

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