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Prepare for some delays and cancellations if you’re heading to the airport over the July 4 weekend as airlines grapple with the heavy volume of travelers, summer storms and staffing shortages.

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Travel is picking up more and more every year following the COVID-19 pandemic, with last Tuesday up 11% compared to the same day last year, the Transportation Security Administration said, according to The Associated Press.

In a news release, the TSA said officials are prepared for the expected high volume of passengers traveling over the upcoming holiday weekend “with the technologies and resources for improved security effectiveness, efficiency and passenger experience at security checkpoints.”

TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in the news release that the preparations were due in large part to funding the agency got as part of the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which put TSA employees “on the same pay scale as most other federal employees.”

“With the new pay implementation plan for all TSA employees starting in July, attrition levels at TSA have dropped to historic lows, which means our increased employee retention has resulted in sufficient staffing levels to meet the increased passenger demand throughout the country,” he said.

“We expect that passenger volumes will continue to grow, and we will continue to work with our industry partners in the transportation network to meet our passenger throughput standards of 30 minutes or less in standard lanes and 10 minutes or less in TSA PreCheck® lanes. We met these standards over 98% of the time so far this year.”

The TSA said it expects the busiest travel days from June 29 through July 5, when 17.7 million people are expected to travel. On June 30, officials expect to see 2.82 million travelers.

As of Thursday morning, there have been 1,927 delays within, into or out of the United States plus 1,325 cancellations, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.

Plane lands without nose gear in NC

Travel tips from the TSA:

  • Give yourself plenty of time.
  • Be prepared for new checkpoint screening technology.
  • Check TSA’s website for items that are prohibited in carry-on bags.
  • Have some form of identification on you.
  • Contact the TSA with any questions or assistance, either through AskTSA on Facebook or Twitter or by texting 272872. People can also reach the TSA through its the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673, or TSA Cares for passenger support at 855-787-2227.

Severe storms have caused delays or cancelations for thousands of travelers already, CNN reported. Monday saw more than 11,000 flights canceled or delayed due to the severe weather and air traffic control staffing issues. Over 7,300 flights were delayed Tuesday and about 2,100 were canceled.

The worst flight disruptions have been along the East Coast, with the thunderstorms that have caused the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily ground flights at three airports in New York City starting Tuesday evening, the AP reported. Flights heading to Reagan Washington National and Baltimore-Washington airports were held up earlier in the day Tuesday.

United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby blamed the delays and cancellations — which have affected 150,000 passengers in recent days — on a shortage of air traffic controllers, according to The Washington Post. On Monday afternoon, Kirby said in an email obtained by the Post that staffing shortages left the FAA unable to deal with the weather.

The Post reported that the FAA did not respond to its questions about Kirby’s email but did say, “We will always collaborate with anyone seriously willing to join us to solve a problem.”