Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Tuesday, September 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 62° Partly Cloudy
News >  Business

Airlines prepare for an expected record number of summer passengers

UPDATED: Wed., May 23, 2018

Memorial Day weekend travelers at Los Angeles International Airport stand in a security line on May 26, 2017. (Tribune News Service)
Memorial Day weekend travelers at Los Angeles International Airport stand in a security line on May 26, 2017. (Tribune News Service)
By Hugo Martin Los Angeles Times

If you plan to fly on vacation this summer, prepare for unprecedented crowds at the airport.

A record 246.1 million passengers are expected to fly during the season, a 3.7 percent increase over a record set last year, according to Airlines for America, a trade group for the nation’s biggest airlines.

The Transportation Security Administration also predicts a record number of air travelers at airport screening lines from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The TSA expects to screen an average of 2.6 million passengers per day this summer, compared to an average of 2 million passengers throughout the year.

Both the airlines and the TSA say they are prepared for the surge in air travelers, which the trade association has accurately predicted before.

The TSA said it has increased staffing by more than 600 screening officers since the start of the year and expects to add an additional 1,000 officers before the peak of the summer travel season.

The airline trade group said the country’s air carriers plan to add 116,000 seats per day to serve the spike in demand for air travel – a surge that industry experts attribute to a strong economy, low unemployment and relatively inexpensive fares.

“As the economy grows along with household net worth, passengers are taking advantage of persistently low airfares for their summer travel plans,” said John Heimlich, chief economist for Airlines for America.

The average annual domestic airfare dropped in 2017 for the third straight year to $348, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

It is unclear if fares will continue to fall. The trade group reported that airline expenses, including wages and fuel costs, rose faster than revenues in the first three months of 2018, cutting into profit margins.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


4 favorite Gonzaga basketball teams

The basketball court at the McCarthey Athletic Center is photographed before an NCAA college basketball game between Gonzaga and BYU, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) (Young Kwak / AP Photo)
Sponsored

While we look ahead to future seasons of Gonzaga Bulldog basketball , it’s fun to look at highlights from past years.