Airlines for America (A4A) estimates that 24.6 million passengers will travel globally on U.S. airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period, a slight increase over last year. To accommodate the increase, and as enabled by improved profitability, airlines are adding seats, paying down debt and increasing investments in the customer experience, A4A says.
The Thanksgiving air travel period extends from Friday, Nov. 21 through Tuesday, Dec. 2. A4A said it expects the number of air travelers to increase 1.5 percent from the 24.2 million estimated 2013 Thanksgiving air travelers, averaging an additional 31,000 passengers per day. Daily passenger volumes will range from 1.36 million to 2.61 million, with the busiest travel days in ranked order expected to be Sunday, Nov. 30; Monday, Dec. 1; and Wednesday, Nov. 26. The lightest travel days are Thursday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 28.
“An expanding U.S. economy, rising personal incomes, employment growth and lower energy prices are driving growth in demand,” A4A vice president and chief economist John Heimlich. “There is no better time to fly than now, as airfare remains one of the best consumer bargains in America, given its superior speed and price versus other modes of travel.”