Orbitz Insider Index ranks most and least busy airports for Thanksgiving travel
CHICAGO, Nov. 11, 2013 - Travelers to the Midwest and West Coast will see the largest crowds of any U.S. airports this Thanksgiving, according to new data from Orbitz (www.orbitz.com). Los Angeles International (LAX) and Chicago O`Hare International (ORD) airports took top billings as the busiest destinations, based on the Orbitz Insider Index, which analyzed booking data from the top 50 U.S. airports over the Thanksgiving travel period (Nov. 26 - Dec. 2, 2013). Additionally, the Index used booking data to find the least busy airport options, based on the same period.
"This year we`ve seen an increase in traffic at traditionally slower airports, with several new airports joining the Busiest Airports list," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior travel editor for Orbitz.com. "When traveling for the holidays, jet-setters should prepare for crowds and pack accordingly, with options to keep themselves entertained should there be delays. The recent FAA approval on using electronic devices during take-off and landing is definitely a bright spot for travelers to look forward to this holiday season."
Most/Least Busy Airports
Los Angeles International (LAX) and Chicago`s O`Hare (ORD) airports have taken the top seeds in Orbitz busiest airports rankings and 2013 marks the fourth straight year that they will see the largest crowds over the holiday.
There were several shake-ups this year, with traditionally less busy airports seeing increases in traveler traffic. Boston`s Logan International airport rose two spots to number 3, while Washington`s Ronald Reagan National Airport also climbed several spots to take the title as the nation`s 6th busiest airport.
New to the busiest airports list are Seattle`s Sea-Tac International, Newark Liberty International and Minneapolis-St. Paul International airports.
Orbitz Insider Index: Busiest Airports for Thanksgiving 20131
| 2013 Rank || Airport Name || Location/Market || Airport Code || 2012 Rank |
| 1 || Los Angeles International || Los Angeles, CA || LAX || 2 |
| 2 || Chicago O`Hare International || Chicago, IL || ORD || 1 |
| 3 || Boston Logan International || Boston, MA || BOS || 5 |
| 4 || San Francisco International || San Francisco, CA || SFO || 3 |
| 5 || New York LaGuardia || New York, NY || LGA || 4 |
| 6 || Ronald Reagan National Airport || Washington, D.C. || DCA || 9 |
| 7 || Sea-Tac International || Seattle, WA || SEA || N/A |
| 8 || Denver International || Denver, CO || DEN || 8 |
| 9 || Newark Liberty International || Newark, NJ || EWR || N/A |
| 10 || Minneapolis-St. Paul International || Minneapolis, MN || MSP || N/A |
While many travelers this season will see more passengers in their terminals at major airports, several airports have indicated that their security lines will be shorter. In 2013, five new airports made the Least Busy list, offering several new options for travelers looking to avoid the crowds.
Orbitz Insider Index: Least Busy Airports for Thanksgiving 20132
| 2013 Rank || Airport Name || Location/Market || Airport Code || 2012 Rank |
| 1 || Syracuse Hancock International || Syracuse, NY || SYR || N/A |
| 2 || Buffalo Niagara International || Buffalo, NY || BUF || 1 |
| 3 || Bangor International || Bangor, ME || BGR || N/A |
| 4 || Nashville International || Nashville, TN || BNA || 3 |
| 5 || Eppley Airfield || Omaha, NE || OMA || N/A |
| 6 || Sacramento International || Sacramento, CA || SMF || 4 |
| 7 || Richmond International || Richmond, VA || RIC || N/A |
| 8 || Cleveland Hopkins International || Cleveland, OH || CLE || 7 |
| 9 || Port Columbus International || Columbus, OH || CMH || N/A |
| 10 || John Wayne Airport || Orange County, CA || SNA || 8 |
Hot Tips for Holiday Travel
Peak Travel Periods: As part of the Insider Index, Orbitz also analyzed the busiest travel days. Similar to years before, traveling on the Wednesday before the holiday will be the most expensive day to travel with airfares on average around $499. For jet-setters on a budget, Orbitz experts suggest traveling on Thanksgiving Day when airfares average $406 - a savings of 19 percent.
Know Your Alternatives: Flying from smaller airports with low-cost carriers is not always the least expensive option for travelers. Travelers should always check all airport options. Orbitz customers can use the "Nearby Airports" feature to search all airports within 80 miles of their departure and arrival destination.
Dress for Success: Remember, TSA allows children 12 years old and younger to leave their shoes on when going through airport security-a time-saver for traveling parents. Be sure to have your children keep their shoes laced-up when waiting in the security line and save yourself from unnecessary wardrobe changes.
Smartphones Are Your Travel Companions: From navigating to the airport, checking flight statuses and even keeping your reservations in order, mobile devices are your best friend when traveling through the holidays. The Orbitz App now integrates with Orbitz Rewards, and with the new "Zap that Bag Fee" feature, customers can easily take a picture of their checked baggage fee receipt, send it to Orbitz and earn $25 in bonus Orbucks through November 30.
1Busiest airports data based on all Orbitz.com air ticket bookings (standalone and as part of a package) to the top 50 airports with arrivals and departures between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2, 2013.
2Least busy airports data based on all Orbitz.com air ticket bookings (standalone and as part of a package) to the top 50 airports with arrivals and departures between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2, 2013.
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