What Is The Busiest Airport On Thanksgiving Weekend?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We hope that most of you have made it home in time for your turkey dinner. An estimated 31.6 million passengers are expected to be flying somewhere during this holiday season. Here’s a look at the airports that are expected to have the greatest footfall while people travel to and from their loved ones this weekend.

LAX Delta
Delta will be extra busy over the next month. Meanwhile, LAX is expected to be the second-most occupied hub in the United States. Photo: BriYYZ via Flickr

Best to plan ahead

American Airlines has been proactive in its approach this season. It has sent out a notification to its customers to make use of its digital services to cope with the rush. The airline estimates that it will fly 8.6 million passengers over the next two weeks.

Overall, it expects its hubs of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to be the two busiest airports that it operates at. 

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Hopefully, AA’s introduction of biometric boarding will help reduce the overall boarding time. Every other US airline will have their hands tied too, especially Delta, which expects to carry 3.2 million passengers.

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American Airlines Airbus A321
American Airlines is ready to serve at their hubs in Dallas and Charlotte. Photo: Airbus

Extra congestion

The busiest day this Thanksgiving is expected to be Sunday. This is when many people have overcome the food hangovers and Black Friday craze and try to return to reality.

We can get an idea of what would be the busiest airport in the US in the next few weeks by looking at the busiest hubs overall. Business Insider reports that, last year, the busiest airport in the country was Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, which served more than 107 million passengers.

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This feat also makes it the most occupied airport in the world. This location is a hub for Delta Air Lines, as well as a focus city for Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Spirit Airlines. Ultimately, this gives the aerodrome a range of customers, as these firms are some of the country’s most used carriers.

Atlanta Airport
Due to its connecting abilities, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is set to be the busiest airport this Thanksgiving period. Photo: ERIC SALARD via Flickr

Ultimately, Atlanta’s prime location enables its airport to be a major connecting point and port of entry into North America. Several key destinations in populous states are within reasonable proximity of this city. Moreover, the hub is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the population of the United States.

Other leaders

In second place is Los Angeles International (LAX). This is also the fourth busiest airport across the globe. The Southern Californian hub serves 87.5 million fliers. Furthermore, the third busiest is O’Hare International in Chicago, serving more than 83.2 million passengers annually. This makes it the sixth most used airport worldwide.

Wherever you’re traveling this holiday season, it is recommended to check flight statuses and allow some extra time to get to the airport. Especially with bad weather on the horizon. Simple Flying wishes everyone a joyous holiday season and a seamless travel experience.

Has there been any extra congestion at the airports that you’re traveling through? Let us know how your travel experience has been so far in the comment section.

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Richard Johnson

Even though Atlanta is busiest airport in the world I find it very easy to get around. I know a lot people will disagree with me on that comment but being a Delta medallion member and TSA precheck has it’s perks. I flight out on black Friday from there to Bogota.