NEW YORK, N.Y. – RewardExpert, a free service that helps users take full advantage of credit card points and airline miles – released its 2017 Thanksgiving Holiday Air Travel Forecast. The report uses historical flight data from the past five years to evaluate the on-time performance of the top nine domestic airlines at the 45 busiest airports over the Thanksgiving travel period. This forecast additionally examines the best and worst days to travel five days before and after the holiday.
“The track record of an airport and airline says a lot about how well it performs during a high-traffic period,” says RewardExpert CEO and co-founder Roman Shteyn. “This report also breaks down which dates are the most and least delay prone for each individual airport we analyzed, to give travelers localized insights on how to best plan their Thanksgiving travel.”
Key findings of the 2017 Thanksgiving Holiday Air Travel Forecast are:
- Waiting until the last minute can pay off. The report shows the lowest rate of delayed flights occur on Thanksgiving Day, meaning an early morning flight will likely get last-minute travelers to their family dinner on time.
- Hawaiian Airlines continues to dominate when it comes to timely flights, with an average of 93.9 percent of flights arriving and departing on schedule. Additionally, Honolulu’s International Airport maintains its good marks from last year with 91.5 percent of flights on-time.
- Out of the major carriers, Delta leads the pack with 88.3 percent of flights reporting without delays. Compared American Airlines’ 82.8 percent and United Airlines 82.9 percent of timely flights, Delta outperforms its competitors by about 5 percent.
- New Jersey and New York City metro-area travelers should anticipate delays. Delays at Newark Liberty Airport increased sharply last year, affecting more than one quarter of all flights over Thanksgiving 2016. With its five-year average of 78.7 percent of flights on-time, Newark is the second worst airport for Thanksgiving travel, with San Francisco International Airport coming in last at about 75.5 percent.
“Given that Thanksgiving is a relatively short holiday, every minute that you get to spend with your loved ones counts,” says Shteyn. “Knowing ahead of time where and when you can anticipate an increased likelihood of delays will help you plan your trip so that you spend less time at the gate and more time at your family’s dining room table.”
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