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Thanksgiving travel rush is back

Huge travel rush returns this year for the Thanksgiving Holiday period, setting aside inflation concerns to reunite with loved ones and enjoy some normalcy after two holiday seasons marked by COVID-19 restrictions.

More than 6.3 million Travelers Expected to Use Port Authority Airports and Bridges and Tunnels During Thanksgiving Holiday.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) expects to welcome 2.6 million customers for the Thanksgiving Holiday period. The busiest of these days will be Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, with over 243,000 customers traveling. This number of customers signifies a full recovery, as the Airport has reached 2019 customer levels. DFW anticipates welcoming over 78 million customers in 2023, exceeding 2019 levels.

More than 590,000 travelers are expected to pass through Denver International Airport (DEN) TSA checkpoints between the busiest days, an increase of 12.2% for the same period in 2021.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is forecasting a busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period that is expected to draw an average of more than 200,000 passengers per day.

This Saturday, the 26th , MCO is expecting more than 165,100 passengers. Sunday the 27th, will be the third busiest with more than 158,500 and Monday the 28th will be the 4th busiest with approximately 151,000 travelers at MCO.

In addition to unprecedented demand for air travel, this year, airlines are offering 35% more seats compared to November 2019.  

The busiest travel days during Thanksgiving week are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and the Sunday after the holiday. This year, the Federal Aviation Administration expects Tuesday to be the busiest travel day with roughly 48,000 scheduled flights.

The Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 2.3 million travelers on Tuesday, down from more than 2.4 million screened the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in 2019. On Monday, the numbers were up versus 2019 — more than 2.6 million travelers compared with 2.5 million. That same trend occurred Sunday, marking the first year that the number of people catching planes on Thanksgiving week surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

AAA predicts that 54.6 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home in the U.S. this week, a 1.5% bump over Thanksgiving last year and only 2% less than in 2019. The auto club and insurance seller say nearly 49 million of those will travel by car, and 4.5 million will fly between Wednesday and Sunday.