Historically, the week of Thanksgiving has proven to be one of the busiest for travel. In fact, it appears that Thanksgiving 2016 might be the most hectic Thanksgiving travel week in almost a decade.
Record increases in passenger traffic reported
According to AAA, 48.7 million Americans will travel nationwide this Thanksgiving, a 1.9 percent jump from last year and the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers nationwide since 2007. Additionally, an estimated 27.3 million passengers are expected to use major U.S. airlines during the holiday period, which they define as Nov. 18 through Nov. 29.
A few major U.S. airports have reported that they are expecting large increases in passenger traffic:
- San Francisco International Airport anticipates an increase of 5.7 percent this year compared to last year.
- Miami International Airport expects more than 989,000 passengers, which is a 2 percent increase from last year.
- Los Angeles International Airport reports that 2.3 million travelers will fly through the airport during the holiday week, an 8 percent increase from the record set in 2015.
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport expects two times the average passenger traffic on Sunday, November 20.
Expect flight delays this year
As always during the holiday season, travelers should prepare for long lines, packed flights and an increase in flight delays. Two years ago, travelers who passed through the New York City’s major airports over the week of Thanksgiving had to deal with more flight delays and cancellations than anywhere else in the country. For example, our data showed that for JFK and Newark airports, a total of 723 flights were canceled and 4,438 were delayed — making for a total of 5,161 disruptions between Nov. 23 through 29.
According to our data, these are the U.S. airports with the most scheduled flights during the week:
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airports
- John F. Kennedy International Airport
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
- San Francisco International Airport
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport
- Miami International Airport
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- Denver International Airport
Get yourself prepared to fly
Keeping track of your flight status is the smartest way to ensure your holiday travel plans go smoothly. If you’re traveling during Thanksgiving, then consider using our free web and mobile apps for flight updates.
Our mobile app and recently enhanced website, beta.flightstats.com, will provide you with real-time flight information throughout your journey. It is the number one way you can prepare.
“The last time I used it, it nailed the time of my flight’s departure, almost down to the minute,” said Lucas Peterson, Travel Columnist for the New York Times.
Over 7 million unique visitors per month get their flight information from FlightStats properties. With our app or website, you can:
- Check flight status and track a flight
- Set up a flight alert
- Look up a historical flight
- Get airport Information
- And much more
Before you head to the airport this year, make sure you arm yourself with the most reliable flight data available.