Sunday Predicted to Be One of the Busiest Air Travel Days of 2018

Jul 7, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Most travelers probably assume that Thanksgiving and Christmas are the busiest travel days of the year. But as we have learned over the past week, it turns out that the days around the Fourth of July are actually the busiest in US aviation.

Our education started with the revelation from the TSA that Friday, June 29 was forecast to be the busiest day ever in TSA history. Sure enough, the agency confirmed that a record 2.67 million fliers were screened that day, as part of the busiest week in the TSA’s history.

While we’ve gotten over that hump, the crowds aren’t going to start dying down yet. As we learned from American Airlines this week, Sunday, July 8 is shaping up to be in the top 5 busiest for the year. In fact, the world’s largest airline expects to carry approximately 690,000 passengers across 6,747 flights in that one day alone.

To break those numbers down, that’s the equivalent of a full 102-seat American Airlines A321T taking off every 10 seconds from about 5:15am until midnight.

While that’s a lot of passengers, it still isn’t expected to be the busiest day of 2018. So far, that honor goes to June 30 with nearly 700,000 customers on 6,900 flights. June 22 (692,000 passengers) and June 29 (690,000 passengers) are the other busiest travel dates so far.

But what about the rest of July? An American Airlines spokesperson shared that the airline’s busiest days of July in terms of passengers are expected to be (in descending order): July 8, July 20, July 13, July 9 and July 27.

What does the airline recommend you do? Show up early. Regardless if you’re checking bags or carrying-on, the airline recommends that you arrive 1.5 hours early if traveling domestically or 2 hours early minimum if traveling internationally.

With that said, you can probably show up a bit later if you’re carrying-on, have TSA PreCheck, use the TSA app to track security wait time and use a mobile boarding pass. That way, you can skip the ticket counter and take a much faster and more comfortable trip through security. And hopefully you can even find some space in a lounge before your flight.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.