As we slowly head into the worst time of year to be traveling, Orbitz has revealed which airports to avoid this Thanksgiving.
The list is not really filled with any surprises, but it is always nice to see some solid research done by those that actually have the data needed to make a top ten like this.
Of course, as with any busy time of year, it pays to be prepared. Know how to pack, know the current TSA rules, and know how to control your anger when you arrive at the airport and find that it looks like something out of a disaster movie.
Here are the top ten “Orbitz Insider” busiest airports for Thanksgiving 2009.
- Chicago, IL – Chicago O’Hare International (ORD)
- Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles International (LAX)
- Denver, CO – Denver International (DEN)
- San Francisco, CA – San Francisco International (SFO)
- Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Hartsfield International (ATL)
- Boston, MA – Boston Logan International (BOS)
- New York, NY – New York LaGuardia (LGA)
- New York, NY – New York John F. Kennedy International (JFK)
- Newark, NJ – Newark Liberty International (EWR)
- Seattle, WA – Seattle Tacoma International (SEA)
If you have already booked a flight in or out one of these airports, well, then it sucks to be you. All is not lost for those still waiting to book – Orbitz also compiled a list of the 10 least busy airports.
- San Jose, CA – San Jose International (SJC)
- Nashville, TN – Nashville International (BNA)
- Richmond, VA – Richmond International (RIC)
- Sacramento, CA – Sacramento International (SMF)
- Jacksonville, FL – Jacksonville International (JAX)
- West Palm Beach, FL – Palm Beach International (PBI)
- Hartford, CT – Bradley International (BDL)
- Orange County, CA – John Wayne International (SNA)
- Cincinnati, OH – Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International (CVG)
- Fort Myers, FL – Southwest Florida Regional (RSW)
Armed with this this information, smart travelers who hate crowds may be able to book themselves out of alternate airports. Anyone in the New York area is pretty much screwed – LaGuardia, JFK and Newark are all in the top 10, but it is a relatively short drive to White Plains Westchester airport. Passengers planning to avoid LAX may be better off with flights out of Burbank or Orange County and Chicago passengers may be able to find a better flight out of Midway (I doubt it though).
You’ll find the complete list of busy Thanksgiving airports over at the Orbitz blog.