As travelers prepare for the always busy holiday season, Airlines for America (A4A) announced its research shows an estimated 47.5 million passengers are expected to fly in the United States over the 18-day winter holiday travel period.
The 2019-2020 winter holiday travel period runs from Thursday, December 19, through Sunday, January 5, and A4A officials believe an average of 2.6 million passengers will take to the skies each day over the holidays, with daily volumes ranging from 2.2 million to three million.
The projections would mark a three percent increase when compared to last holiday season. To accommodate the 72,000 additional daily passengers expected this season, airlines in the U.S. will offer 88,000 additional seats per day and 884 more flights per day.
“Throughout this year we’ve seen steady gains in air travel demand, and this winter will be no exception,” A4A Vice President John Heimlich said in a statement. “Buoyed by a healthy economy and plentiful, affordable air service, travelers once again are expected to take to the skies in record numbers.”
As for the busiest days of the winter holiday travel period, A4A projects Friday, December 20; Saturday, December. 21; Friday, December 27; and Thursday, December 26 to be the worst times to fly.
On the other hand, Christmas Eve (Tuesday, December 24); New Year’s Eve (Tuesday, December 31); and Christmas Day (Wednesday, December 25) are expected to be the lightest travel days.
The winter holiday travel period follows the busiest Thanksgiving holiday period in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) history. The agency announced last week it screened a record-breaking 2,870,764 travelers on Sunday, December 1.
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