TRAVEL SCOOPS

Thanksgiving Weekend: When to fly to avoid flight delays

November 11, 2012
Thanksgiving air travel: when to fly to avoid elays

Airline passengers have grown all too accustomed to long flight delays, especially when they have to fly during peak travel periods like the Thanksgiving holiday.

NerdWallet.com, a personal finance and credit card website, analyzed on-time arrival statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (part of the U.S. Department of Transportation). The review sheds some light on how travelers can best avoid delays when traveling over the Thanksgiving holidays.

The Good News: Turkey Day proper (Thursday), when fares are a bit lower and seats a bit are more likely to be available, is also the most reliable day to fly. The on-time arrival rate for flights last Thanksgiving Day (2011) was 94%. On the preceding Tuesday and Wednesday, on-time arrival rates were only 78% and 85%, respectively. This flight advantage (in terms of fewer delays) has held over the past three years.

While many experts advise travelers to schedule return flights for the Tuesday after the holiday, the same three-year data revealed that flight delays are less likely for those who book flights home on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.


Read the NerdWallet study 

Read my recent articles on Thanksgiving travel on the NBC Universal Life Goes Strong website:

  • 5 Tips for Booking Last Minute Air Travel for Thanksgiving Weekend.
  • Thanksgiving Airfares: When to Buy and When To Fly

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