Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Travel Projected to Decrease this Year

This Thanksgiving season will be the first time that the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) has projected a decrease in holiday passenger traffic since 2001. Higher fuel prices combined with reduced consumer spending have led to a projected 10% drop in the number of passengers and flights in the 12-day period spanning November 21 (Friday before) through December 2 (Tuesday after), as compared to the same period in 2007. (Click here and here)

Even though passenger traffic is expected to drop, as always, TSA has ramped up holiday staffing at the checkpoints to ensure passengers get through smoothly. It always helps to come prepared so you can help keep lines moving. Check out the Travelers Page (click here) for special holiday information regarding food and gift items, tips on how to pack, and a list of things you shouldn’t bring on a plane.

While wait times may vary from airport to airport, last year, the average wait at peak flying times was less than 13 minutes during the holiday weekend. The busiest travel days are usually the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday/Monday after.

Here are projections for busy airports this Thanksgiving, courtesy of Orbitz.

Orbitz chart showing the top 10 busiest airports, click here for more