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Travel rush begins at Reagan National Airport

If you're flying out of Reagan National, it's laid out differently this holiday season.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Thanksgiving travel rush is well underway – especially at Reagan National Airport, which has new security checkpoints.

If you're flying out of Reagan National, it's laid out differently this holiday season. The Upper Level is now closed off from the airport's Great Hall (where Ben's Chili Bowl and Legal Seafood are located) and you'll go down new escalators to the new security checkpoints.

If you are TSA Pre-Check, you can also use the new Clear kiosks with eye and fingerprint verification to identify yourself and make the process faster.

"I was a little bit worried about our kids, but they seem to be handling it just fine, they actually love wearing their masks now," said Radwa Aly of DC, who was traveling to Panama City, FL with her two young children. "The line surprised us a bit and made us grateful we decided to come early."

The line stretched across the room, but agents say it typically takes 15 to 20 minutes to reach the front.

"The line is actually moving faster than I thought, but it's still a lot of people," said Eunice Ulysse of Hagerstown, heading to Atlanta. "But they're doing their thing."

On Friday, the TSA set a new record for this year, screening 2.2 million passengers.

But COVID infections are on the rise again in almost half of the country and could soon reach 100,000 cases a day. Officials are encouraging travelers to get boosters.

"I'm fully vaccinated and I have my booster," said Samantha Healy, traveling to a cruise with her family. "So does my grandmother. My whole family is vaccinated so I guess I'm not as concerned about us, more about the people who aren’t."

An expected 20 million passengers will fly this week.

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