The Crazy Crowding At Airports The Day Before Thanksgiving Could Soon Be The New Normal

Screen Shot 2013 11 20 at 5.23.49 PMUS Travel AssociationThis map shows six U.S. airlines already experience passenger congestion levels at least one day a week that mirrors the volume seen the day before Thanksgiving. The remaining top 30 airports in the country will follow suit by 2020.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days at the airport. On average, airlines across the country see a passenger increase that day of up to 259%, according to a new study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association.
But soon, the increased volume of travellers seen around the holidays could become more of an everyday occurrence, the study found. To be exact, within a mere five years, 24 of the top 30 U.S. airports will experience passenger levels that they usually only see on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Six airports already experience those high passenger volumes at least one day a week, including the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, the Honolulu International Airport, the Chicago Midway International Airport, the Orlando International Airport, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

“Every projection holds that the demand for travel will continue to dramatically rise,” U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow said in a news release. “But that rising demand will be stifled without a significant effort to modernize infrastructure.”

Dow said the moment of greatest need for airports has already arrived. To combat the problem of overwhelming numbers of passengers, another recent study conducted by The Eno Center for Transportation suggests generating more investment in airports, creating more federal grants, letting airports increase their Passenger Facility Charges and separating air traffic control and safety functions of the FAA to accelerate air traffic control modernization.

This chart shows when the 30 largest U.S. airports will start to feel more like the day before Thanksgiving on a more regular basis.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.