Thanksgiving Travel: Best and worst times to fly

Last-minute travelers flying on Thanksgiving Eve are likely to see crowds that will make them wonder if they have chosen the right time to depart.

Almost all travel experts agree that the night before Thanksgiving is not the ideal time to fly. This includes American Automobile Association (AAA), which published an updated travel outlook for the holiday.

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“Even with flights that have seen a boost this year, AAA finds that the average lowest airfare is 27.3% less than last year, coming in at $ 132,” the car association wrote. “Tuesday and Wednesday are still the most expensive and heaviest travel days, with Monday being the lightest and cheapest.”

Last-minute travelers flying on Thanksgiving Eve are likely to see crowds that will make them wonder if they have chosen the right time to depart.

Last-minute travelers flying on Thanksgiving Eve are likely to see crowds that will make them wonder if they have chosen the right time to depart.
(iStock)

If you want to get the best deal, experts at AAA do not recommend buying airline tickets days before your Thanksgiving break.

“Those who want to book last-minute travel will find the best prices about two weeks before Thanksgiving, but keep in mind that availability may be limited,” AAA wrote in its report.

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The car association collaborated with INRIX – a location-based analysis company that monitors motor vehicle movements to make its Thanksgiving travel forecast.

If you want to get the best deal, experts at AAA do not recommend buying airline tickets days before your Thanksgiving break.

If you want to get the best deal, experts at AAA do not recommend buying airline tickets days before your Thanksgiving break.
(iStock)

Using existing traffic data from INRIX, the two organizations predict that 53.4 million Americans will travel to Thanksgiving this year. Approximately 4.2 million of these travelers will board planes across the country.

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Last year, only 2.3 million Americans took to the skies to see their loved ones at the height of COVID-19, which was not far from AAA’s 2020 Thanksgiving Forecast (2.4 million) for air travel.

If AAA’s forecast for 2021 ends up being correct, it would be an 80% year-over-year increase for Thanksgiving flyers.

“This Thanksgiving, travel will look very different than last year,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “Now that the borders are open and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again high on the list for Americans who are ready to be reunited with their loved ones for the holidays.”

Approximately 4.2 million Americans will board planes across the country in time for Thanksgiving, reports the American Automobile Association.

Approximately 4.2 million Americans will board planes across the country in time for Thanksgiving, reports the American Automobile Association.
(iStock)

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Thanksgiving travelers who have not yet reached their destination are encouraged to depart earlier than originally planned due to increased road traffic and longer security checkpoints at airports.

“Travelers should arrive at the airport three to four hours in advance,” Dr. Terika L. Haynes, CEO and Founder at Dynamite travels told Fox News in an earlier travel guide. “They should also pack snacks if there is a long wait at restaurants due to reduced staff and large numbers of travelers.”

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