Los Angeles' LAX, Chicago's O'Hare (ORD) and Orlando International (MCO) will be the nation's busiest airports this Thanksgiving, according to data released today by Orbitz (www.orbitz.com). Meanwhile, two other airports in California – Mineta San Jose International (SJC) and John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County – as well as Kahului Airport on the Hawaiian island of Maui will be among the least crowded with holiday travelers. These are just a few of the helpful highlights from the Orbitz Insider Index for Thanksgiving 2011, which also provides a host of tips and tricks to navigate the crowds and enjoy the journey to visit friends and family over the holiday.
"While it's a given that airports will be busier than usual during the holidays, with just a bit of advance planning, that trip home for turkey day can actually be a fun experience," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior travel editor for Orbitz.com. "In addition, there's so much that can be done online ahead of time – from checking in and checking bags to choosing seats and mapping out airport diversions and eateries – that can help minimize stress and up the fun factor on what is, after all, a family vacation for many of us."
Most/Least Busy Thanksgiving Airports
The Insider Index reviewed the top 50 U.S. airports based on flight bookings, and identifies those that will be the most and least busy for travel between Nov. 23 and Nov. 27, 2011. Highlights of this year's Index include:
- Los Angeles International bumped Chicago O'Hare off the #1 slot for busiest airports this year, with Orlando International rounding out the top three
- Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA) and Atlanta's Hartsfield International (ATL) dropped off the busiest airports list, while Orlando International joined the top 10 for the first time in the past two years
- As in previous years, the three main airports serving the New York metropolitan area (John F. Kennedy International (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark Liberty International (EWR)) are listed in the top 10 trafficked airports for the Thanksgiving holiday.
- Two Northern California airports in the Bay area—Sacramento International (SMF) and Mineta San Jose International land on the "Least Busy" list, offering a viable alternative for travelers in the area looking to avoid crowds.
Orbitz Insider Index: Busiest Airports for Thanksgiving 2011(1)
Los Angeles International
Los Angeles, CA
Chicago O'Hare International
San Francisco International
San Francisco, CA
Boston Logan International
New York LaGuardia
New York, NY
John F. Kennedy International
New York, NY
Newark Liberty International