If you’re going to travel for the Thanksgiving weekend, make sure to get to the airport even earlier than originally planned, because this year is predicted to be the busiest ever.
An estimated 30.6 million people will board planes in the United States during the two weeks surrounding the holiday — an increase of over 1 million people from last year, according to Airlines for America. If you’ve been putting it off because it doesn’t seem worth it, now might be the time to finally invest in TSA PreCheck, and you’ll definitely want to stock up on things to do on your flight. Get your playlists in order, your podcasts picked out, and a few episodes of your favorite show downloaded.
Airlines for America reports the anticipated busiest day for Thanksgiving travel is November 25. Just over 3 million people will likely be returning home after the holiday to get back to work on Monday. If you’re checking bags, you’ll want to give yourself even more extra time than you thought — no matter which day you choose to travel, Airlines for America anticipates at least 2.55 million passengers boarding flights across the country every single day in that two-week period. Unsurprisingly, the least crowded day will be Thanksgiving Day itself, but even then, there will be an estimated 1.73 million people passing through the arrival and departure gates.
Even when adjusted for inflation, data from the Department of Transportation shows that flights are cheaper than ever before, falling 7% since 2010. That becomes all the more enticing over Thanksgiving. Between the promise of pie and cheap airfare, it’s no surprise that people are headed to the airport in droves to get out of town for the holiday.