Thanksgiving in the United States means plenty of travel. Whether you're meeting up with friends or going home for the holidays, most Americans will travel in some capacity over the long weekend. And you can expect it to be busy no matter what method of transportation you chose.
According to a forecast by Airlines For America, a record-setting 31.6 million passengers are expected to travel on U.S. airlines throughout Thanksgiving weekend, and in the weekdays before and after. They say that's a 3.7% jump from last year.
3 What To Expect
Airlines For America estimates the busiest travel day will be Sunday, December 1 with 3.1 million passengers expected across the countries airports.
They're actually predicting it will be the busiest travel day for the U.S. airline industry in all of 2019. The second-busiest day will likely be Wednesday, November 27, with close to 3 million people flying the day before Thanksgiving. The least busy day will be the official date of Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 28 - will 1.79 million expected to fly.
2 Alternative Travel Methods
Even though air travel will be record-setting, leisure travel company AAA expects the majority of people travelling throughout the Thanksgiving holiday will drive. They're expecting just over 49 million people to hit the roadways - the highest number since 2005. AAA estimates over 55 million drivers are planning trips of 50 miles or more.
They anticipate Wednesday, November 27 to be the worst time to be on the roads, with trips taking up to four times longer than normal in metropolitan areas.
1 Planning Ahead For Weather
Whether driving or flying, the week of Thanksgiving can come with plenty of unexpected weather that can impact travel plans. Most common being snow. This year, forecasters are cautioning travellers of a developing storm bringing strong winds and snow through northern states.
CNN says more than 20 million people are under winter weather advisories, watches or warnings across the country, Planning ahead is an important part of ensuring any necessary travel goes as smoothly as possible. Checking the weather before embarking on a long drive and checking flight status before heading to the airport are two smart ideas to make Thanksgiving travel easy.
Sources: airlines.org, newsroom.aaa.com, cnn.com