July 4th travel: Airports may have one the busiest day in history Friday, TSA says

The 4th of July travel holiday is expected to be the busiest air travel weekend on record at Philadelphia International Airport.  Simply put more people are traveling and they are traveling earlier this year.  

As the summer travel crush begins to heat up airport officials are sending out a waring to passengers.

"We think today and tomorrow are going to be some of the busiest days in our history" said TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein.

On Thursday night, the TSA security lines at the airport were about a half hour long.  

Long lines at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday, June 26, 2024.

Some travelers' nerves are already frayed.

"The line is longer than expected, which is why I chose today instead of tomorrow. The train schedule is off, traffic is ridiculous. So I should have planned yesterday" said Lynn Gipprich who was flying back to Clearwater, Florida.  

How busy are the skies? 

TSA says 12 of the last 15 busiest days ever came over the last 5 weeks. Last Sunday, TSA agents screened 2.99 million passengers nationwide. It’s a record that's expected to be broken over the 4th of July weekend. 

As of 9 p.m. Thursday, there were a total of 11 cancelations and 118 delays coming in and out of PHL Airport. 

"My first flight was canceled for a weather delay. So I’m re-routed twice already." said Kevin Miller of Oklahoma City.

"I already had my flight canceled early today. I had to book another flight to get here. It hasn’t been a great experience but you push on you know" said Chris Voldase from New Jersey who was on his way to Las Vegas for a wedding.

American Airlines has added hundreds of flights in and out of Philly in the coming week. 

The added flights came days after hundreds of passengers and luggage were left stranded when dozens of flights were canceled due to weather and staffing issues. 


Frustrated flyers wait overnight for luggage at PHL - some for 24 hours!

Travel nightmare in Philadelphia as frustrated travelers have been left stranded for hours without their personal belongings after several flights were delayed, or even canceled over the weekend.

Airport officials say travelers can help by leaving prohibited items at home.  

They showed off a haul of items agents confiscated within a single hour this morning.  They say with record numbers expected in coming days be prepared.

"Our advice to travelers is to get to the airport early because it will be crowded not only here but nationwide" said TSA Deputy Federal Secretary Director Christine Assili.

Airport officials say the busiest times here are between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. and noon and 5 p.m.