Airlines poised for bigger Thanksgiving

The Air Transport Association of America is forecasting a 4 percent year-over-year increase in the number of passengers traveling globally on U.S. airlines during the 2007 Thanksgiving holiday season Based on a sample of recent historical data, the three busiest travel days during the Thanksgiving travel period are expected to be Sunday, Nov. 25; Monday, Nov. 26; and Wednesday, Nov. 21, respectively.

Over the entire 12-day holiday travel period, ATA projects that planes will be, on average, close to 90 percent full. To put this in perspective, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), year-to-date 2007 load factors have averaged just above 80 percent.

        To accommodate the growing number of travelers, ATA member airlines are introducing a number of new customer-service initiatives this Thanksgiving holiday period.

“This 12-day Thanksgiving travel season traditionally is the busiest time of the year for air transportation. To ensure as pleasant a travel experience as possible, the airlines have taken extra steps this year to keep travelers better informed,” said ATA President and Chief Executive Officer James C. May. “Our customers deserve nothing less than safe and on-time travel and we will do our absolute best to deliver that. In the event of system delays, we also know that customers expect and deserve timely and accurate information - and ATA member airlines have all redoubled their efforts to deliver that information.”



        May added that he encourages passengers to take advantage of new technologies and services offered by the carriers and most importantly, “to plan ahead and arrive at the airport plenty early.”