With about 30 million travelers expected to jam U.S. airports this year and storms in the forecast, you may want to take an extra helping of patience, too.
A government shutdown won’t be disrupting travel plans this Thanksgiving after Congress agreed on Wednesday to a funding package that lasts through early next year. But clouds and crowds might make your trip a slog anyway.
The Transportation Security Administration expects about 30 million passengers to fly between this Friday and the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, an 11.5 percent increase over the same period last year.
The weather won’t make the Thanksgiving crush any easier. Weekend storms in New England and low clouds and rain on the California coast could cause some delays. And Monday through Wednesday morning, a strong cold front will move eastward, slowing operations at airline hubs like Houston and Chicago before soaking the East Coast, said Paul Pastelok, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.
If you haven’t booked your trip already, average airfare prices are slightly lower than they were in 2019, said Melanie Fish, head of public relations at Expedia Brands, and you can really save time and money if you fly on Thanksgiving Day.
“According to Expedia data, flying on Thanksgiving Day is 11 percent cheaper than average for the week of Thanksgiving, but here’s the real kicker — it’s almost half as busy compared to the day before Thanksgiving,” Ms. Fish said.
The four major New York City-area airports run by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are expecting 3.1 million passengers from this Monday through the Monday after Thanksgiving, up slightly from three million over the same period last year, said Seth Stein, spokesman for the Port Authority.
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