Airlines for America (A4A), an industry trade organization with several major U.S. airlines in its ranks, projected that 28.5 million passengers will travel on U.S. airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving air-travel period. The number of estimated travelers is a 3 percent increase from the previous record of 27 million in 2016.
Meanwhile, the 2.38 million passengers per day expected to take to the skies represent an increase of 69,000 from the 2016 Thanksgiving travel period. A4A said that airlines are accommodating this daily increase in demand by adding 86,000 more seats in the marketplace each day, a 3.2 percent increase over 2016.
The 2017 Thanksgiving air-travel period runs from Friday, Nov. 17 through Tuesday, Nov. 28, with the busiest airline travel day projected to be Sunday, Nov. 26, with an estimated 2.88 million passengers.
“Airline passengers continue to benefit from the highly competitive air-service landscape this holiday season, as low fares and increased availability of seats continue to make air travel widely accessible,” A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich said in a written statement released by A4A.
Daily passenger volumes will range from 1.61 million to 2.88 million, with the busiest travel days in ranked order expected to be Sunday, Nov. 26; Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 17.
The lightest travel day is expected to be Thanksgiving Day—Thursday, Nov. 23.