WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The Transportation Security Administration expects passenger traffic in American airports to approach pre-pandemic levels during the holiday season.

Agents screened 21 million passengers during a 10-day period around the Thanksgiving holiday.

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More than 31,000 people flew out of BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, marking a new high point for passenger traffic since the start of the pandemic, an airport official said.

With Christmas and New Year’s Eve approaching, TSA is advising passengers to arrive two hours early for domestic or three early hours for international flights, and to avoid airport rush hours if possible — they’re normally between 5-7 a.m. or 4-6 p.m.

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“We see a strengthening in the airline travel industry toward pre-pandemic levels and our goal is to ensure you as the passenger have a safe and secure flight,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “We work hard with our airport and airline partners to achieve this by ensuring screening operations meet the upcoming demand.”

The agency also advises travelers to study the guidelines of what’s permitted in checked luggage and carry-on bags.

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A face mask requirement is still in place in U.S. airports and is extended through March 18, 2022, the agency said.

CBS Baltimore Staff