Busy Airports for Thanksgiving Travel

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In an effort to help empower travelers to make more informed decisions when it comes to Thanksgiving travel plans, Hopper and InsureMyTrip research teams reveal what airports and flights to avoid and how the latest data trends can aid travelers when comparing travel insurance benefits.

Busy Airports For Thanksgiving Travel

This data shows the most popular airports during the winter months. The data from Hopper revealed the following trends:

  • The Sunday after Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day, followed by the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
  • Atlanta beats out several larger metro areas as the busiest airport for both holidays due to the large number of connecting passengers.

This is the list of busiest airports this Thanksgiving, based on total departing passengers and volume of scheduled departures:

ATL Atlanta
LAX Los Angeles
ORD Chicago
DFW Dallas
JFK New York City
DEN Denver
SFO San Francisco
LAS Las Vegas
CLT Charlotte
PHX Phoenix

Best Protection For Flight Delays

Based on these data results, travelers can make smarter choices about their travel plans and travel insurance purchases. For example, passengers with departing flights at busier airports are more likely to utilize a travel delay benefit and, therefore, may want to compare travel insurance policies with better delay protection.

“Our data indicates that when travelers are made aware of the probability of delays, they are more likely to compare and buy travel delay benefits during a purchase,” says Melissa Caldarone, data analyst at InsureMyTrip.

Travel delay benefits vary with each travel insurance provider, generally between a 5 and 24-hour window. The benefit is designed to provide reimbursement for reasonable meals and accommodations while unable to travel.

Tip: Travelers must be delayed for a certain number of hours before this benefit can be applied. When comparing travel insurance, look for the minimum delay time (typically, starting at 5 hours) to start qualifying for coverage as soon as possible.  

Best Protection For Delayed Bags

Travelers may also want to ensure baggage delay coverage is included under a selected comprehensive travel insurance plan. Baggage delay coverage generally becomes active after belongings have been delayed for a specified period of time, typically 12 or 24 hours.

Tip: When comparing travel insurance, look for a maximum per-person coverage amount as well as a per-day limit. For example, some policies may offer $500 per person to purchase incidentals, but only allow $200 to be spent per day.

Best Protection For Missing Cruise Departure

For those concerned about a delayed flight adversely affecting a cruise or tour departure, travelers may also want to ensure a missed connection benefit is included under a selected comprehensive travel insurance plan. This benefit is designed to provide travelers with coverage if a delayed flight (for example, of 3 hours or more) causes a traveler to miss a cruise departure.

Tip: Florida airports tend to be very busy during cruise season, so plan for delays.

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