Biggest Air Travel In 3 Years Expected

( The number of travelers is anticipated to reach the highest level for the Thanksgiving holiday in three years, and U.S. airlines and airports are prepared for a spike.

According to the travel industry group AAA, about 55 million Americans will travel for a holiday on land, air, and rail, with air travel returning to levels that were prevalent in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic at about 99%.

John Grant, a senior analyst at travel data company OAG, predicted that most planes would run at capacity. So it can be challenging to find a seat.

Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Eve is usually the busiest day for travel. To avoid the last-minute rush, many Americans have been able to extend their trips thanks to the possibility of working remotely.

According to Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president of the industry trade association Airlines for America (A4A), the new travel pattern is also anticipated to relieve pressure on airline operations. However, A4A and analysts advise tourists to arrive early and pack their patience to give additional time for security.

From November 18 to 30, United Airlines anticipates carrying about 5.5 million passengers, almost equal to 2019 and increasing roughly 12% from the previous year. It predicts that November 27 will be the busiest day since the outbreak started.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, from Nov. 18 to Nov. 29, Delta Air Lines Inc. anticipates flying just under 6 million passengers, just a few thousand less than during the same time last year, according to the airline.

Compared to 2019, airlines are running 13% fewer domestic flights throughout the eight-day Thanksgiving travel season.

Airlines claim they are better equipped to handle the Thanksgiving holiday surge, which is on the fourth Thursday in November, even though flight delays and cancellations blighted U.S. summer travel.

While Delta claimed it had reduced its timetable and lengthened boarding times, United claimed it is on target to hire 15,000 people this year. According to A4A, major airlines now employ 10% more pilots than before the pandemic. According to federal officials, they also have sufficient employees to manage holiday travel.

Meanwhile, rising demand and fewer flights have caused airline prices to climb.

Demand is also increasing for less expensive modes of transportation like buses and trains.