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Thanksgiving air travel is set to kick into high gear, with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) preparing to screen a record-breaking 30 million passengers during the holiday week. However, stormy weather hitting the East Coast significantly threatens travelers' plans.
As a sweeping storm system moves across the country, major travel hubs, including Chicago, Atlanta, and New York City, are expected to face heavy rain, wind, and snow, leading to potential delays and challenging conditions for flights.
We delve into the storm's impact on Thanksgiving air travel and provide tips for navigating the potential disruptions.
Meteorologists predict a storm pushing east early Wednesday with potentially flooding rains. The route also includes many essential airports such as
AAA projects a 6.6% increase in passengers flying over Thanksgiving compared to the previous year, marking the highest number since 2005. The busiest air traffic and most expensive days to fly are expected to be Tuesday, November 21, and Wednesday, November 22. However, savvy travelers can benefit from lower flight prices by flying on Monday, November 20, which offers a 12% discount compared to November 22.
The TSA expects to screen a staggering 30 million passengers during Thanksgiving travel from November 17 to November 28.
"We expect this holiday air travel season to be our busiest ever. In 2023, we have already seen seven of the top 10 busiest travel days in TSA's history," said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. "We are ready for the anticipated volumes and are working closely with our airline and airport partners to ensure we are prepared for this busy holiday travel season. We will also do our best to maintain wait time standards of under 10 minutes for TSA PreCheck lanes and under 30 minutes for standard screening lanes."
With seven of the top 10 busiest travel days in TSA's history already occurring in 2023, they emphasize their readiness to handle the anticipated volumes. The focus will be on maintaining wait times below 10 minutes for TSA PreCheck® lanes and under 30 minutes for standard screening lanes.
Hopper identifies New York City, Los Angeles, and Orlando, Florida, as the most popular domestic Thanksgiving destinations.
"The day before Thanksgiving is notoriously one of the most congested days on our roadways. Travelers should be prepared for long delays, especially in and around major metros," said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, in a statement. "Knowing when and where congestion will build can help minimize holiday traffic frustrations. We advise drivers to use traffic apps, local DOT notifications, and 511 services for real-time updates."
To avoid heavy traffic, INRIX suggests leaving home in the morning or after 6 p.m. on the busiest day and highlights traffic congestion on Sunday, with air and road traffic on November 26, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
As Thanksgiving air travel ramps up, stormy weather threatens to disrupt millions of people's plans, potentially causing delays and complex conditions. Understanding the busiest travel days, staying updated on weather conditions, and planning ahead can help passengers navigate the storm and minimize the impact on their Thanksgiving travel. Whether taking to the skies or roads, being well-prepared is vital to a smoother holiday travel experience.
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Lindokuhle Mkhize, a skilled creative copywriter and content lead at Trademarkia, brings a wealth of experience in driving innovation and managing teams. With previous success in starting and growing the Innovation and Marketing department at her former creative agency, Lindokuhle boasts expertise in leadership and delivering compelling content. Based in South Africa, Lindokuhle's work focuses on key themes of creativity, effective communication, and strategic marketing.
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