TSA agents needed as busy summer travel season expected

This past weekend, more than five million people were screened at U.S. airports, marking the busiest holiday travel weekend since Thanksgiving.

Travel is back to pre-pandemic levels. And with spring break not too far away, demand is only going to go up.

The number of travelers at Dallas Love Field has already surpassed pre-pandemic numbers.

The expectation is it will be a busy summer of travel both at Love Field and DFW Airport.

The TSA is hiring to keep up with the growing demand. As new COVID-19 cases continue to decline, antsy Americans are eager to travel again.

The TSA screened more than two million people Friday, which was the highest number since Thanksgiving.

The increase comes as more countries are reopening to tourists and easing pandemic restrictions.

Quantas Airlines and Air France just resumed daily service at DFW Airport.

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Airport officials are trying to get ahead of the expected summer rush.

At the Renaissance Dallas North Hotel Tuesday, the TSA held a joint recruiting event. Applicants were able to complete multiple steps of the hiring process in just a few hours.

Gamika Haynes left with a job offer.

"It feels wonderful. It feels like a relief. You're excited," she said.

Dallas Love Field is looking to hire between 20 and 30 new TSA agents. Previous law enforcement experience is not required.

"We're excited to getting people back in the air and assisting in that," said Asst. Federal Security Director William Regden. "And part of that effort is bringing TSA officers back on board."

On top of the pandemic, airports, airlines and the TSA have faced other challenges, like the winter storm earlier this month that disrupted travel schedules and led to a long line at a DFW Terminal A checkpoint.

DFW Airport is already one of the busiest in the nation. 

The hope is the two-day hiring event will bolster the airport TSA Ready List by 100.

"This will help build up for the summer travel and all that," said DFW Administrative Officer Don Wilburn. "We like to have a good healthy pool of hiring so as we move through the year."

Starting pay is at $17.47 per hour with opportunities for a 5% pay increase upon certification as a transportation security officer. There's also a signing bonus.

For Haynes this is the start of new career, leaving a job in education behind.

"You never know how you can make somebody's day," she said. "Being in the airport is stressful sometimes, but seeing a smile or someone that is helpful to you can change your whole day."

If you're interested in becoming a TSA agent, you can attend the recruiting event Wednesday. It's being held at the Renaissance Dallas North Hotel from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you'd like to complete the entire hiring process, organizers recommend you get there early.