Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Holiday Airport Traffic Decreased Nationwide

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is usually a very busy day at the nation’s airports, and traditionally, the second busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. As we noted in an earlier post, the Air Transport Association forecasted a 10 percent drop in the number of passengers traveling on U.S. airlines during that time.

TSA data collected from airports nationwide proved the forecast right. Based on data collected from this past Wednesday, the number of passengers going through TSA checkpoints decreased 16 percent nationwide - and 14 percent at the nation’s 40 busiest airports - compared to last year.

Of the top 40 U.S. airports, the biggest decreases in passenger volume through security checkpoints on Wednesday were at Honolulu International Airport (35 percent); John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA (32 percent); Tampa International Airport (27 percent) and Newark International Airport (22 percent).

Airports with the smallest drop in passenger volume were San Francisco International Airport (5 percent), Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (5 percent), Boston Logan International Airport (6 percent), Denver International Airport (9 percent) and Indianapolis International Airport (8 percent).

Update: The above data reflects the number of people screened by TSA at security checkpoints, not the total number of enplanements at airports. TSA data doesn't include people who had connecting flights through airports who do not go through the checkpoint. The post has been updated above to reflect this clarification.