Growing consensus: Thanksgiving will be busiest ever for air travel

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Slide 1 of 21: 1. Atlanta (ATL): 103,902,992 passengers (down 0.3%). Rank in 2016: 1st. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 2 of 21: 20. Denver (DEN): 61,379,396. Rank in 2016: 18th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 3 of 21: 19. Seoul/Incheon (ICN): 62,157,834 (up 7.5%). Rank in 2016: 20th.(Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 4 of 21: 18. Singapore Changi (SIN): 62,220,000 (up 6%). Rank in 2016: 17th.(Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 5 of 21: 17. Jakarta/Soekarno-Hatta (CGK): 63,015,620 (up 8.3%). Rank in 2016: 19th.(Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 6 of 21: 15. Istanbul Atatürk (IST): 63,872,283 (up 6%). Rank in 2016: 14th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 7 of 21: 14. Frankfurt (FRA): 64,500,386 (up 6.1%). Rank in 2016: 13th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 8 of 21: 12. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW): 67,092,194 (up 2.3%). Rank in 2016: 11th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 9 of 21: 11. Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS): 68,515,425 (up 7.7%). Rank in 2016: 12th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 10 of 21: 16. New Delhi(DEL): 63,451,503 (up 14.1%). Rank in 2016: 22nd. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 11 of 21: 13. Guangzhou, China (CAN): 65,887,473 (up 10.3%). Rank in 2016: 15th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 12 of 21: 9. Shanghai Pudong (PVG): 70,001,237 (up 6.1%). Rank in 2016: 9th.(Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 13 of 21: 10. Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG): 70,001,237 (up 6.1%).Rank in 2016: 10th.(Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 14 of 21: 8. Hong Kong (HKG): 72,663,955 (up 3.4%). Rank in 2016: 8th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 15 of 21: 6. Chicago O'Hare (ORD): 79,828,183 (up 2.4%). Rank in 2016: 6th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 16 of 21: 7. London Heathrow (LHR): 78,014,598 (up 3%). Rank in 2016: 7th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 17 of 21: 5. Los Angeles (LAX): 84,557,968 (up 4.5%). Rank in 2016: 4th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 18 of 21: 4. Tokyo Haneda (HND): 85,408,975 (up 6.5%). Rank in 2016: 5th. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 19 of 21: 3. Dubai International (DXB): 88,242,099 (up 5.5%). Rank in 2016: 3rd. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 20 of 21: 2. Beijing (PEK): 95,786,442 passengers (up 1.5%). Rank in 2016: 2nd. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)
Slide 21 of 21: 1. Atlanta (ATL): 103,902,992 passengers (down 0.3%). Rank in 2016: 1st. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)

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1. Atlanta (ATL): 103,902,992 passengers (down 0.3%). Rank in 2016: 1st. (Data: Airports Council International, for full-year 2017)

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There’s growing consensus: This will be the busiest Thanksgiving ever for air travel.

The latest comes from airline trade group Airlines for America (A4A), which will issue its annual Thanksgiving travel forecast Wednesday. A4A is projecting a record holiday in terms of passenger traffic, matching similar expectations from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

A4A projects a record 30.6 million passengers will travel on U.S. airlines during a 12-day window around Thanksgiving. That’s up from an estimated 29 million passengers that flew during the comparable period in 2017.

For 2018, A4A defines the Thanksgiving travel period as beginning on Friday, Nov. 16, and ending on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27).

This year, A4A expects the busiest day during that period to be Sunday, Nov. 25, when the group estimates 3.06 million passengers will travel on U.S. carriers.   

The trade group, which represents most big U.S. airlines except for Delta, says daily passenger volumes will range from a low of 1.73 million on Thanksgiving Day to the more than 3 million projected for the Sunday after. A4A says the next busiest days will be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 21) and this coming Friday (Nov. 16), which is a full week ahead of the typical holiday rush.

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Jet Asher, 4, of Florida takes a look at airplane models. Looming large in this photo is a model of a China Southern Airlines Airbus A380 superjumbo jet.

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Vintage Japanese hand fans are on display for sale at the ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show.’

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Travis Smith, 3, of Washington, D.C., takes a look at airline memorabilia at the Airliners International 2018 collectibles show in Arlington, Virginia, on July 12, 2018.

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Vintage Japanese hand fans are on display for sale at the ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show.’

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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Pens from now-defunct National Airlines and a sticker featuring an out-of-date British Airways paint scheme were among the tens of thousands of items available for purchase at the Airliners International 2018 collectibles show in Arlington, Virginia, on July 12, 2018.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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7/12/18 2:53:46 PM — Arlington, VA — The “World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show” features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018. — Photo by Camille Fine, USA TODAY Staff ORG XMIT: CF 137303 Airline memorabi 07/12/2018 [Via MerlinFTP Drop]

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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Milton Banas of San Antonio is a regular vendor and attendee at the Airliners International collectibles shows. His inflatable Alaska Airlines hat has become his calling card at the events.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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A vintage flight-attendant uniform is among the items for sale at the ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ during its stop in Virginia on July 12, 2018.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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This poster-sized ad for now-defunct British carrier Northeast Airlines, likely from the 1960s or 1970s,  marks an advertising style that’s mostly faded away in the airline industry. Northeast merged with British Airways in the 1970s.

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These retro in-flight service items seem just as likely for an airline museum as for a collectible show. Among the items here are an ice-pick hammer and napkins from now-defunct TWA.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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Memorabilia from now-defunct airlines – such as the AirTran-branded merchandise seen here – are among the more popular collectors’ items.

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Another popular collector’s item for enthusiasts: airline timetables. Thousands were on display at the Virginia show, including versions from long-gone airline brands. Some dated as far back as the 1930s.

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nother popular collector’s item for enthusiasts: airline timetables. Thousands were on display at the Virginia show, including versions from long-gone airline brands. Some dated as far back as the 1930s.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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Jeff Bridges of Orlando is among the Airliners International regulars. “I’m happiest when I’m in a plane,” he says.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USAT

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Another popular collector’s item for enthusiasts: airline timetables. Thousands were on display at the Virginia show, including versions from long-gone airline brands. Some dated as far back as the 1930s.

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A vintage photo slide shows a DC-10 aircraft. It was among the items for sale in July 2018 at the “World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show” as it passed through metro Washington, D.C.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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Eastern Air Lines is one of the USA’s most iconic airline brands. The carrier went bust in 1991, but fans of the carrier can keep its memory alive with this vintage Eastern-branded tea pot.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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A British Airways dinner set from its Concorde supersonic jet were among the items for sale at the Airliners International show as it passed through Virginia in July 2018.

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This vintage Delta mug, on display at the Airliners International show as it passed through Virginia in July 2018, advertises nonstop routes to Las Vegas. Today, Delta only flies one of those three routes.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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Pins for a range of airlines – many long since gone – are available for the right price.

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The ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show’ features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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© Camille Fine, USA TODAY

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Airline-branded playing cards, including this set for now-defunct ATA Airlines, were among the items for sale at the July 2018 show in Virginia.

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Vintage flight attendant uniforms are on display for sale at the ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show,’ which features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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Vintage flight attendant uniforms are on display for sale at the ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show,’ which features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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These Delft Blue miniature traditional Dutch houses are among the signature items of Royal Dutch KLM. The airline gives them to business-class customers filled with Dutch gin.

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Thirteen-year-old Drew Perales and mother Lynette browse through airline safety cards. They drove to Virginia from Delaware for Airliners International 2018.

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Chris Slimmer, President of World Airline Historical Society and co-Chairman of Airliners International 2018 DCA, poses for a portrait at the ‘World’s Largest Airline Collectibles Show,’ which features around 200 tables of airline memorabilia from dealers all over the world on July 12, 2018.

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The TSA also has singled out those three days as the ones on which it expects to screen the most flyers at its checkpoints.

“We have started to see a trend in which the Thanksgiving holiday period actually begins the Friday before Thanksgiving,” says TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.  

A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich credited “accessible and affordable flight options” for laying the groundwork for this year’s expected Thanksgiving record.

 A4A says Department of Transportation data shows airfares, when adjusted for inflation, remain near “historic lows.” When factoring in inflation, average fares (including fees) for the first half of 2018 are down 5 percent year-over-year and 7 percent since 2010, according to A4A.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Growing consensus: Thanksgiving will be busiest ever for air travel

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