The busiest airports, days to fly and more over the holiday weekend
You might wish you’d stayed home.
Over Labor Day, 16.1 million people are expected to fly worldwide on U.S. airlines, according to data released this month from industry trade organization Airlines for America, which looked at the seven-day travel period from Wednesday, August 30th – Tuesday September 5th. That’s up 5% from the 15.4 million that flew last year.
“As household wealth increases, ticket prices remain low and airlines large and small continue to grow, consumers are finding it easier and more affordable than ever to get away,” explains A4A vice president and chief economist John Heimlich of the uptick.
And while airlines are adding 133,000 seats to accommodate this uptick in holiday passengers, you can bet that not everyone’s trip is going to go smoothly. Here are some signs you might hit a snag in your travels.
You’re flying on one of these two days
The worst days to fly this year — at least if you want to avoid delays, cancellations and disruptions — are Friday, September 1st and Tuesday, September 5th, according to a report released Wednesday by travel rewards site RewardExpert.com; those are followed by Thursday, August 31st and Wednesday September 6th. Meanwhile, “to start your Labor Day weekend without any hiccups, flying out on the Wednesday before the holiday itself is your best bet” and flying back on Sunday the 3rd is a great option too.
You’re flying on one of these two airlines
“Budget carrier JetBlue and regional carrier Skywest are two airlines you should think twice about before booking,” the RewardExpert.com report reveals. They both have less than 83% flights on-time. Meanwhile, Hawaiian and Alaska Airlines have 94.3% and 91.7% on-time performance, respectively. The good news? If you are flying on JetBlue or the holidays, the airline tends to have more legroom than other airlines standard.
You’re hustling through one of these three airports
According to Airlines of America, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson, Los Angeles International and Chicago O’Hare are going to be the busiest airports during the Labor Day travel period. The busiest of all, Atlanta, will see nearly 8,200 flights during the eight-day holiday travel period. But those airport likely won’t be the most annoying. Indeed, RewardExpert found that the airports with the worst on-time performance for flights during Labor Day typically have been: Liberty, LaGuardia, San Francisco, Louis Armstrong and Logan. Meanwhile, if you’re hitting Hawaii or Salt Lake City, you’ll likely experience few delays at the airport, as both have more than 90% on-time performance.
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