Flying for Thanksgiving? Brace yourself for record crowds
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.
Expect big crowds and long lines if you’re flying next week for the Thanksgiving holiday.
It’s the same advice flyers have been given for the past several years, and it will be true again in 2019 as a record number of air travelers are expected for the holiday.
The Transportation Security Administration expects to screen 26.8 million passengers and airline workers between Friday, Nov. 22, and Monday, Dec 2. Thanksgiving Day is on Thursday, Nov. 28.
That count would be a 4% increase over the comparable window in 2018, which currently stands as the busiest Thanksgiving ever for air travel.
“We expect record-breaking travel volume this 2019 holiday season, following our busiest summer ever,” Patricia Cogswell, TSA’s Acting Deputy Administrator, said in a statement.
The TSA says the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving period will be Nov. 27, the Wednesday that precedes Thanksgiving. More than 2.7 million passengers and crew are expected that day alone, according to TSA.
However, Airlines for America (A4A) — the trade group that represents most big U.S. airlines — says its projections show that the Sunday after Thanksgiving (Dec. 1) will be the busiest. In fact, A4A expects that Sunday to be the busiest single travel day ever for the U.S. airline industry, with 3.1 million passengers flying on U.S. airlines.
TSA projects Sunday to be the second busiest of the period.
Thanksgiving Day itself is projected to be the slowest of the holiday window.
Featured photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
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.
- 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.