If you plan to take a flight somewhere on Thanksgiving, you can expect the airports to be more hectic than they were last year. There is a 3% increase expected in passengers traveling, up to 25.3 million this year. That’s the most in eight years. These figures are a projected estimate from Airlines for America.
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These estimates are taking in the fact that the fares are lower this year, and more people may be taking advantage of this to take a flight for Thanksgiving.
There may be as many as 65,000 more passengers every day filling up the airports starting November 20th, and ending December 1st. This will bring totals between 1.4 million and 2.7 million people a day heading off on a flight.
They listed the busiest travel days in order, as Sunday, November 29th, Monday, November 30th, and Wednesday, November 25th.
Airlines are expected to be using bigger planes and extra routes to handle the extra loads expected.
The cost of fuel has plummeted 36% in the last year, and the airlines have been able to use that decrease to pass on to their ticket prices, even lowering some prices.
The Department of Transportation listed fares for the beginning of the year were 1.7% higher than the same period last year. But the airfare for the fall months was 3.6% cheaper than the fall of 2014, or around $248. Fares were 8.1% cheaper than in the fall of 2013.
If you plan to fly during this time, expect the airport to be super busy. Be ready for longer lines, extra waiting times, and unfortunately, delays or cancellations. Over the past three years 15 to 20 percent of flights have sadly been under a delay or cancellation.
Try to head out a day earlier or return a day later if at all possible to try and avoid some of the congestion that will be expected at the airports. Whatever your travel plans, do whatever it takes to arrive safely and have a wonderful holiday season.