Most Thanksgiving Travelers Since ’07

Millions of people are going home for Thanksgiving and despite low fuel costs and Ebola fears, airlines are raising fares and capitalizing on the bump in business.

The American Automobile Association predicted that this year 46.3 million Americasn will be traveling more than 50 miles to celebrate the Thursday holiday.  This, they say, is the highest volume since 2007.

Of these all these travelers, 23.7 million are expected to be flying during a 12 day window around Thanksgiving, USA Today reports.

Airline tickets, especially around the holiday, will not be cheap.  JetBlue, Southwest, Delta, United, American and US Airways have all increased their rates in the past few days, the Associated Press reports.  This comes at a time when fuel costs, the major expense for airlines, has dramatically fallen.  Time notes that despite a raise in prices, “Wall Street seemed to reward the price increase with shares in the major airlines all gaining by at least 3%.”

How much a ticket costs will largely depend on which day you choose to fly.  The Wednesday and Sunday around Thanksgiving are by far the busiest and the most expensive.  USA Today says that a normal fare on those days from New York to LA should be in the $550 range.

Obviously, choosing other days that are not so common will dramatically decrease the cost.  Traveling on Thanksgiving itself could mean a 30 percent cheaper fare, which is about $100 on the JFK to LAX trip, says Time.

Another way to save on flights is to be picky about where you fly.  In our example flight, LAX and JFK are not good choices since they are the second and sixth busiest airports in the country respectively.  Forbes has a list of which airports will the least-busy this Thanksgiving.

It’s easy to be frustrated by flying during the peak season.  If you’re worried about legroom on the flight home, we’ve got you covered.  Check out which airlines give you the most space here.  If you’re stuck in a terminal, here are some videos that show just how beautiful airports can be.


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