TSA estimates record 46 million holiday fliers

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If you are hankering to be one among millions this holiday, do not bother with the shopping malls, just head to the airport, where nearly 46 million people will mix travel anxiety with Christmas anxiety and a tad of family-get-together anxiety to create a merry little stew of emotions.

The projected number of people who plan to fly between Thursday and Jan. 6 is up more than 5 percent from last year.

“That’s an increase of about 126,000 passengers a day,” said Nick Calio, CEO of the trade group Airlines for America.

With a daily average of more than 2.5 million people flying, those with the very most holiday spirit may enjoy travel on Thursday, Friday and Dec. 26, which figure to be the busiest days during the holiday period. (The lightest travel days are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Jan. 5.)

After the busiest Thanksgiving air travel period on record, airlines have promised to work with the Transportation Security Administration to get people to their flights on schedule.

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“This holiday season, we are expecting passenger volumes at airports to again be at record highs,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. “We ask passengers to arrive earlier than usual, don’t overpack carry-ons, be prepared to divest items at security checkpoints, listen to advisements from our officers, and most importantly – patience and understanding go a long way.”

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With those sentiments in mind, the group AirHelp, which bills itself as the world’s leading flight compensation company, provided a list of protections that are available to passengers in the United States and other countries.

AirHelp, a for-profit organization that collects 25 percent of the compensation when its customers win claims, says globally, 2018 has been among the worst years when it comes to disrupted flights. Some of that is due to the weather, and some is the result of airline issues.

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The company says one reason Americans suffer is that 90 percent of them do not know their rights well enough to complain effectively.

“You can always complain when an airline doesn’t fulfill the service they’ve promised. Some might even take your feedback seriously and try to improve their service,” AirHelp says in its “10 Commandments of Air Travel.”

AirHelp also outlines the rights you have when your flight is overbooked.



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