An estimated 25.3 million people will be taking to the sky on U.S. airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period (November 20 through December 1). This would be the highest number of travelers during this period since 2007, according to Washington, D.C. based trade organization Airlines for America. In order to help make your travels as stress free as possible during the holidays, follow the tips below!
1) Travel on Thanksgiving Day – it is usually cheaper to fly on the actual holiday then it is on the days preceding it. Airports are often less busy on Thanksgiving as well.
2) Send Gifts Ahead of Time – the holidays are a good time to travel light, as airlines may charge even higher baggage fees during peak travel periods.
3) Choose Your Airport Carefully – Larger airports are usually better prepared for busy days and have the infrastructure to support additional passengers, when smaller airports may not. According to Airlines for America, the busiest airports for Thanksgiving travel are expected to be:
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Los Angeles International Airport ( LAX)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
4) Streamline Your Boarding Process – You can cut down on time in the airport lines by completing your check-in process before you travel (online or phone app). Frequent travelers may also want to apply for TSA PreCheck, which sots $85 and lasts for five years.
5) Upgrade Your Airport Experience – it might make sense to travel business or first class instead of overpaying for coach, especially because perks often include free checked bags and priority boarding, which can reduce travel and stress.
6) Travel Abroad – Holidays like Thanksgiving are great times to check out fares for vacations out of the country, which may be low because of decreased demand in the U.S. during these times.