Connecting state and local government leaders

Flying at Peak Thanksgiving Travel Times Through These 10 Airports? Good Luck.

Travelers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport

Travelers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport Shutterstock

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

Looking at scheduled departures, here’s when airport authorities, airlines, baggage handlers and security screeners will be especially busy.

Not unexpectedly, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, will be the busiest day to fly ahead of the holiday and and Sunday, Nov. 25 will the busiest day to fly back. But airports across the nation will be busier at different times during the peak Thanksgiving travel days. That’s according to an examination of flight departure data by travel-booking site Hopper and travel insurance company InsureMyTrip.

Looking at major U.S. airports, these 10 will be the busiest during that period, based on total departing passengers and volume of scheduled departures.

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL): 1,263,168 scheduled outbound passengers; 8 a.m. is the busiest time to fly.  
  • Los Angeles International (LAX): 1,074,752 scheduled outbound passengers; 7 a.m. is the busiest time to fly.
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD): 1,057,482 scheduled outbound passengers; 6 p.m. is the busiest time to fly.
  • Dallas-Fort Worth International (DFW): 828,891 scheduled outbound passengers; 9 a.m. is the busiest time to fly.
  • Denver International Airport (DEN): 787,629 scheduled outbound passengers; 10 a.m. is the busiest time to fly.
  • John F. Kennedy International (JFK) in New York City: 781,953 scheduled outbound passengers; 6 p.m. is the busiest time to fly.
  • San Francisco International (SFO): 714,796 scheduled outbound passengers; 12 p.m. is the busiest time to fly.
  • Charlotte International (CLT): 614,779 scheduled outbound passengers; 8 a.m. is the busiest time to fly.
  • Orlando International (MCO): 603,100 scheduled outbound passengers; 6 a.m. is the busiest time to fly.
  • Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA): 590,938 scheduled outbound passengers, 6 a.m. is the busiest time to fly.

Good luck for those flying at the peak-of-the-peak times and happy travels ahead.

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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