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Top 5 Busiest Holiday Air Travel Days for 2015

The Day before Thanksgiving barely makes the list!

Ah, the holidays! For many, this means visiting family and vacationing. This can also mean long lines at the airport. Nearly one in three Americans are expected to take a trip this holiday season. Millions of flyers are expected, and planes are projected to be 85% full, on average. In fact, 38 million are projected to fly on US airlines just during Christmas and New Year’s holidays alone! This is 3% more than last year. Many attribute this to an improving economy, low gas prices, low air fares, and just more people in the world in general.  Below are the top 5 projected busiest days at the airport this holiday season; try to avoid flying on these busy days!


  1. The Day before Thanksgiving-(November 29th)

Yes, I know, it gets a lot of press. But, surprisingly, this is not considered a very busy day at the airport.  So, no big deal. And if you aren’t worried about cutting things a bit close, Thanksgiving Day is the least busy day of the year to travel.  Just be really nice to the person that gets dragged away from their thanksgiving turkey dinner to pick you up at the airport!

santa airport

  1. The Sunday after Christmas-(December 27th)

Yeah, some people don’t get two weeks off. Many need to get back to work before the New Year starts.  This is also one of the most expensive days to fly; book far ahead to get the best price.


  1. The Sunday after New Year’s-(January 3rd)

This makes sense, as many people will be maximizing vacation time, and flying back from their vacations just in time to get back to work the next day. Also, since New Year’s falls on a Friday, it doesn’t leave many other days in between as travel options.

Beautiful sunset with airplane over the sea

Beautiful sunset with airplane over the sea

  1. The Friday before Christmas-(December 18th)

This is actually ranked the 50th busiest air travel day of the year. And, coupled with the stress of gift giving and snowy weather, it can be one of the most hectic as well. Do not bring wrapped gifts in carry-on luggage; screening agents may need to unwrap them if the gift looks like it could be a dangerous object.

croweded airport

  1. The Sunday after Thanksgiving-(November 29th)

Not only is this the busiest day of the holiday season; it is also the 2nd busiest day of the entire year! And, it is also one of the most expensive days to fly. What a great combo! But at least you aren’t traveling during the summer. Forty eight of the top fifty busiest air travel days are during the summer months.  It turns out August 7th was the busiest air travel day for 2015.

So now you know; but don’t stress if you do end up traveling on these days. Remember; everyone is in the same boat (okay, plane), and are just trying to take a break or visit loved ones. Take a deep breath, relax, and be patient and kind to everyone around you. Happy Holidays!


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