Airports bracing for one of the busiest travel days of the year

SEATAC, Wash. — Seattle-Tacoma International Airport could see the most travelers since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to go through security checkpoints at SEA on Monday.

Officials say the busiest times at the airport are from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., but expect higher sustained travel volumes throughout the day.

Traditionally, air travel increases at this time of year because it’s when summer travel tends to begin. Other factors include the Father’s Day holiday and now Juneteenth, as well as the end of the school year for many students.

In addition, many Americans are eager to travel after two years of pandemic-related restrictions.

TSA officials say about 2.5 million people went through airports on Friday, when cancellations and delays were piling up as well.

“It’s sad to miss Father’s Day with my daughter because I’m stuck here in this airport,” one traveler said.

There were significant delays and disruptions at SEA on Sunday, with 258 delays and 40 cancellations.

TSA officials say travelers should be sure to give themselves enough time to make it to their flights no matter what time of the day they leave.

Travelers should also consider checking luggage they would usually carry onto the plane. Less luggage that has to be inspected by TSA agents means less time for all travelers going through security checkpoints.

For those who decide to bring carry-on luggage, TSA said travelers should be prepared for the screening process and know what is allowed before getting to the security checkpoint.

You are also advised to empty your pockets before getting to the checkpoint and put wallets, phones, keys, sunglasses and other loose items from your pockets inside your carry-on bag instead of placing them in a bin to make sure personal items are not left behind, the TSA said.