About 51 million passengers are projected to fly on U.S. airlines to global and domestic destinations between December 15th and January 4th, an increase of about 3.5 percent over last year’s 49.3 million, according to numbers released by Airlines for America (A4A).
A4A anticipates the busiest days of the 21-day holiday travel season to be December 21, December 22, and December 26. Passenger numbers will be lowest on December 16th, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. Numbers of air travelers are expected to range from 2 million on the lowest days to 2.7 million on the busiest.
To accommodate the increase in passengers, U.S. airlines will continue their boosted staffing levels and offer an 91,000 additional seats per day.
“With affordable fares and expanded route options, flying to see family, friends, and loved ones this holiday season is more accessible than ever before,” said A4A vice president and chief economist John Heimlich. “Intense competition within the airline industry is enabling passengers to choose the flights that most closely match their preferences and budgets.”