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US Airport Breaks Record for Busiest Travel Day Ever!

By Orgesta Tolaj


1 March 2024

busiest travel day

© macrovector / freepik

The United States airport has just broken records for the busiest travel day ever! With more people taking to the skies than ever before, it’s clear that travel is on the rise. But what exactly led to this surge in travelers and what does it mean for the future of air travel? Let’s find out together!

Breaking the Record for Busiest Travel Day

During the long holiday weekend in November 2023, domestic airlines experienced a surge in air travel, with over 2.9 million passengers passing through airport security on Sunday, 19th November, setting a new record for the busiest day of air travel in US history. This occurred despite challenging weather conditions, including a cross-country storm bringing snow to the Midwest and rain to the Northeast. Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, a significant hub, faced delays with over 900 flights affected, although only three flights were canceled.

Predictions for the Record

Before the holiday, 5.3 million individuals had flown within the US over two days. Airlines for America, an organization representing major carriers like American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines, projected that the TSA would screen 29.9 million passengers between November 17 and 27. This forecasted number reflects a 9% rise compared to the previous year and an increase of 1.7 million passengers from pre-pandemic levels.

What Date Held the Record Before?

Thanksgiving travel has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, as indicated by TSA data. The Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019 saw 2,882,915 air travelers, now ranking as the third-busiest travel day on record after being the busiest until June 30. Except for Halloween and Thanksgiving Day, over 2 million people have cleared TSA checkpoints daily since October 4, as per government data. The TSA reminded passengers via Twitter on Monday to arrive early at airports during the ongoing holiday travel season.

busiest travel day
© benzoix / freepik

Multiple airports across the US experienced significant flight delays during the holiday weekend. At Chicago’s Midway Airport, 40% of flights were delayed, while in Detroit, 54% of flights departed later than scheduled. The delays were not confined to the Midwest; at New York’s JFK airport, 38% of flights experienced delays, and at LaGuardia, 35% of flights were delayed, with a combined total of five cancellations at the two airports.

Did you travel during the busiest travel day ever?

You might also want to read: Houston Airport Uses This Sneaky Approach for Waiting Times

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!