Thanksgiving survival travel guide

In General by Markus SteenLeave a Comment

Travelling on Thanksgiving to the US? Expect crowded airports during those days. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November (2011 Thanksgiving is on November 24th) and marks the start of the Christmas season holidays in the United States. It’s a special occasion were people are expected to fly to reunite with the family and go shopping the day after, known as “Black Friday”.

Airport crowd

People normally wait until the last minute to catch their flight. Especially if you are travelling with kids you need to avoid the busiest travel days.

Worst Thanksgiving travel days

By far the worst days are the day before Thanksgiving (November 23rd) and the Sunday after (November 27th). Other bad days that may be crowded in the airports are the Tuesday afternoon/evening before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving morning and, finally, the Saturday after the holiday.

Best Thanksgiving travel days

So, what are the less crowded days to travel on Thanksgiving? Ideally, the best thing you can do is to take a few days off at work and fly out before Thanksgiving week and fly back the Tuesday after the holiday. But if you don’t have that chance then you should book the leaving flight for the Sunday or Monday before Thanksgiving, or even later on the Thanksgiving Day itself. The return flight on the Friday or the Monday after the holiday could be a good solution.

Most overcrowded airports this Thanksgiving

Airports are the last place you would likely to be in a peak travel period like Thanksgiving. The top five busiest airports in the US during those days will be:

  • Los Angeles International (LAX)
  • Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
  • Orlando International (MCO)
  • San Francisco International (SFO)
  • Boston Logan International (BOS)

This list was put together by travel website Orbitz.com. Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) and Atlanta’s Hartsfield International (ATL) airports fell off the busiest top ten list this year so good news for those travelling via them.

The three main destination airports for UK travellers (JFK, La Guardia and Newark, all of them in New York) also appear among the busiest airports in Thanksgiving. Therefore you can also expect queues and delays in airports with direct flights to the US like Heathrow, or with flight connections with that country like Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester.

Are you heading to the US this Thanksgiving? Think any other airport is busier? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Markus SteenThanksgiving survival travel guide

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