The 10 Busiest Airports This Holiday

If a comfortable, low-stress Thanksgiving travel experience is a priority, avoid the heaviest travel days.

Airlines for America, the trade group that represents American airlines, today released it annual forecast for air travel during the Thanksgiving period (Friday, November 21 – Tuesday, December 2).

If you flew over Thanksgiving last year, this year will be pretty much deja vu all over again. Passenger numbers are expected to tick up only slightly, by 1.5 percent, to 24.6 million.

The 10 busiest airports, from most to least busy:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Chicago
  4. Dallas – Ft. Worth
  5. New York JFK
  6. Denver
  7. San Francisco
  8. Phoenix
  9. Charlotte
  10. Houston International

Again, no surprises there.

The most actionable of A4A’s forecast may be the most and least busy travel days. The busiest days, as you’d expect, will be as follows:

  1. Sunday, November 30
  2. Monday, December 1
  3. Wednesday, November 26

And the least busy days:

  1. Thursday, November 27 (Thanksgiving)
  2. Friday, November 28

So, if a comfortable, low-stress travel experience is a priority, book away from the heaviest travel days. Otherwise, be prepared for long lines and full flights. Just like last year.

Reader Reality Check

What are your Thanksgiving travel plans?

This article originally appeared on

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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