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List of how busy US airports get for Thanksgiving departures

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In an effort to help empower travelers to make more informed decisions when it comes to Thanksgiving travel plans, Hopper and InsureMyTrip research teams reveal what airports and flights to avoid, the best time to buy, and how the latest data trends can aid travelers when comparing travel insurance benefits.

Best Time To Buy and Fly For Thanksgiving Travel
The data from Hopper revealed the following trends for Thanksgiving 2017:

  • Domestic flight prices are currently averaging about $322 round-trip for Thanksgiving compared to $288 last year (up about 12%).
  • You can save the most money by leaving on Monday, November 20 and returning Wednesday, November 29
  • Last year, the cheapest prices were available until about 55 days before departure (early October), averaging about $286. Between 15 – 25 days prior to departure, there were moderate increases of $1 per day. In the final two weeks, prices started spiking $10 per day.

This is the list of the busiest airports for Thanksgiving, based on total departing passengers and volume of scheduled departures:

Rank

Airport

City

Total Passengers
Departing During
Thanksgiving Week

Busiest Time
of Day (Local
Time)

1

ATL

Atlanta

1,382,846

8:40 a.m.

2

LAX

Los Angeles

1,134,894

9:00 a.m.

3

ORD

Chicago

1,020,476

8:00 a.m.

4

DFW

Dallas

850,314

5:30 p.m.

5

JFK

New York City

837,078

5:30 p.m.

6

DEN

Denver

772,831

10:20 a.m.

7

SFO

San Francisco

745,123

9:40 a.m.

8

LAS

Las Vegas

636,132

12:00 p.m.

9

CLT

Charlotte

623,829

8:30 a.m.

10

PHX

Phoenix

613,433

8:50 a.m.

11

MIA

Miami

609,782

4:00 p.m.

12

SEA

Seattle

589,451

10:40 a.m.

13

MCO

Orlando

578,316

10:50 a.m.

14

EWR

Newark

569,967

4:20 p.m.

15

IAH

Houston

557,786

2:00 p.m.

16

BOS

Boston

498,827

6:00 a.m.

17

MSP

Minneapolis

466,675

6:30 p.m.

18

DTW

Detroit

464,338

6:50 p.m.

19

FLL

Fort Lauderdale

449,863

7:20 p.m.

20

LGA

New York City

417,180

8:30 a.m.

21

PHL

Philadelphia

392,102

4:50 p.m.

22

BWI

Baltimore

386,796

7:10 a.m.

23

DCA

Washington D.C.

321,346

4:10 p.m.

24

MDW

Chicago

319,357

7:20 a.m.

25

IAD

Washington D.C.

300,393

4:10 p.m.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.