These are the busiest days for Christmas and New Year’s travel

Dec 10, 2019

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.

If you’re flying for the winter holidays, you’re far from alone.

The 18 days between Dec. 19 and Jan. 5 will be the busiest end-of-year holiday season ever for air travel, predicts industry trade organization Airlines for America.

On average, 2.6 million people will fly on each of those days, peaking around 3 million on Dec. 20, 21, 26 and 27. All told, about 47.5 million passengers will take to the skies in in the days around Christmas and New Year’s day.

Related: The best credit cards for airline lounge access

“Throughout this year we’ve seen steady gains in air travel demand, and this winter will be no exception” John Heimlich, vice president and chief economist for Airlines for America said in a statement. “Buoyed by a healthy economy and plentiful, affordable air service, travelers once again are expected to take to the skies in record numbers.”

The record-breaking winter holiday season comes on the heels of a similarly busy Thanksgiving travel period.

The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 26 million passengers and crew members were screened around Thanksgiving, according to A4A.

Busiest days

  1. Friday, Dec.  20
  2. Saturday, Dec. 21
  3. Friday, Dec. 27
  4. Thursday, Dec. 26

Lightest days

  1. Tuesday, Dec. 24
  2. Tuesday, Dec. 31
  3. Wednesday, Dec. 25

Related: The best credit cards for airline lounge access

Featured photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

The All-New United Quest℠ Card

WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases

*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 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • $250 Annual Fee
  • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
  • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
  • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
  • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
  • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
Regular APR
16.49% to 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

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.