A record number of consumers will fly over the Thanksgiving holiday

Mae Love
November 2, 2017

Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for USA airlines, predicts a record number of passengers will be in the air over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The RewardExpert data analysis revealed that the lowest rates of delayed flights are on Thanksgiving Day.

USA airline profits in the first nine months of 2017 fell 20 percent year over year, but the busiest Thanksgiving travel period in more than a decade could give carriers a boost, according to an industry trade group on Wednesday. Their research showed that if you're looking to travel prior to the holiday, you're least likely to encounter delays on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. You'll have the best chance of avoiding delays.

The Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving are the worst days to travel back home.


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Last year, the Monday after Thanksgiving was the worst day to fly back. "However, a year ago Sunday and Tuesday were worse". It's easily one of the most challenging times of the year to fly. In that case, knowing which airports have the best on-time records can be useful information. Over the past five years, an average of 84.9 percent of all flights on Thanksgiving Eve have been on time.

To develop its report, RewardExpert analyzed Department of Transportation data from the past five years, searching for where and when the most delays have occurred, as well as which airlines consistently delivered passengers to their destinations on time. They ranked on-time performance by nine airlines at 45 different airports around the country on the five days before and after Thanksgiving. "Last year, however, Southwest made improvements while JetBlue's on-time performance declined by five percent and was the worst performer in 2016".

While airlines make the bulk of their profits over the summer, the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are also key periods for the industry, which is enjoying a long boom.

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