Airports, Airlines, Aviation

Thanksgiving Travel

With Thanksgiving only a few days a way, the only thing standing between you and turkey with friends and family is dreaded Thanksgiving travel. We at tripchi actually love the holiday travel rush – more opportunities to visit the airport and see what’s trending.  The holiday season is also a great petri dish experiment to test travel theories, and there’s always a plethora of industry studies and research reports put out this time of year. Big data in travel is definitely on the rise, and luckily it can be put to use for you and your Thanksigving travel plans.

Best day to buy Thanksgiving travel airfare
Best day to buy Thanksgiving travel airfare

First of all, if you’re following us on Twitter, then you might have seen our tweet a few months ago around when to book Thanksgiving travel from Hopper. Although it won’t do you a lot of good now for your Thanksgiving travel next week, you can at least file the data away for next year. Here’s the rundown on Thanksgiving travel:

  • Prices this year for Thanksgiving travel flights are 14% cheaper than last year.
  • Prices were also fairly constant until ten days before departure in 2013, so next year you can also wait to the last minute to book your Thanksgiving travel. In fact, most of you (40% of you) waited until November to attempt Thanksgiving travel flight searches.
  • Flight prices during Thanksgiving 2013 were 35% higher than non-holiday flights in November. Let’s see what 2014 Thanksgiving travel data brings us in terms of over-priced fares.

As Thanksgiving got closer, Hopper released even more analysis around Thanksgiving travel data:

  • New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago are the top three busy Thanksgiving travel cities – so expect the airports to be jammed up. I’ll be going to LAX on Tuesday, so hopefully will be able to avoid the rush.
  • Top 3 influx cities for Thanksgiving travel: Las Vegas, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale. Apparently people like to go to warm places for Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving travel Destinations
Thanksgiving Travel Destinations
  • Top 3 exodus cities for Thanksgiving travel: Boston, DC, and San Francisco. I was going to say the same thing about fleeing cold cities – but that wouldn’t include SF. Perhaps these cities just have a lot of students and 20-somethings!
  • Check out Hopper’s interactive Thanksgiving Travel Map
Hopper's Thanksgiving Travel Map
Hopper’s Thanksgiving Travel Map
  • Wednesday will be the busiest day to travel next week – 28% of Thanksgiving travelers will depart on Wednesday. 19% of travelers will depart on Monday, 25% depart on Tuesday, 17% depart on Thursday, and 11% depart on Friday. I’m not sure Hopper should actually be including departures the Friday after Thanksgiving as “Thanksgiving travel.” Check out similar data by CheapAir. Again, Tuesday to Tuesday comes out to be a better day to buy AND fly (incidentally, this is exactly my itinerary – I fly to LAX Tuesday and fly back to DEN the following Tuesday).
Thanksgiving travel calendar
Thanksgiving travel calendar

With more than 46 million Americans celebrating Thanksgiving with a holiday getaway, there will be more travelers this year than anytime since 2007. Of this, 3.55 million American will be flying to their Thanksgiving travel destination. And, according to AAA, Thanksgiving travelers will spend on average $573 per person for their holiday getaway.

So, we’d like to know – do you plan to Fly or Drive? Take our survey:

[polldaddy poll=8472033]

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