The Numbers Behind a Record-Setting Year for Thanksgiving Travel

As much as Thanksgiving is rightfully associated with a turkey feast and family, for millions of Americans it also goes hand-in-hand with travel.

This year airlines, airports and ride services will be tasked with transporting a record number of travelers between the Friday before the holiday until the Monday after it. According to Airlines for America, an industry trade organization, a total of 31.6 million people will travel through the air during this period. The second-busiest day will be the day before Thanksgiving with 2.98 million passengers expected. The holiday itself will be the least-busy according to Airlines for America. An expected 1.79 million people will fly on that day.

The number is a 3.7 percent increase from 2018.

To accommodate the surge of passengers, airlines will add 859 flights per day, according to the organization.

Sunday, Dec. 1 will be the busiest day during the Thanksgiving holiday period, with a single-day record total of 3.1 million passengers in the air.

Overall, more than 55 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home to celebrate Thanksgiving. More than 49 million of those will travel by car, the most since 2005, according to motor and leisure travel company AAA.

To see what Thanksgiving means for the retail industry, click here!

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