If you are headed to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Wednesday, you can take solace in knowing that the day before Thanksgiving is no longer the busiest air travel day of the long holiday period.
It is only the third-busiest.
So people going to D/FW Airport, Dallas Love Field or the nation’s other major airports can expect to find a lot of company as they check their bags, go through the security lines and wait to board a flight.
The Air Transport Association predicts that fewer people will fly during the 11 day holiday period in 2011 than in 2010. It expects about 23.2 million passengers to fly between November 18, and November 28. That number is down 2 percent from a year ago.
But because U.S. airlines have been reducing capacity, fewer flights are available. As a result, each flight probably will have a greater percentage of its seats filled.
Officials at D/FW Airport said Tuesday that they expect a one percent increase in passengers traveling through the airport between November 17 and November 29, or 1.83 million in all during its 13 day counting period.
“Part of it is due to pent-up demand,” said Dave Magaña, D/FW Airport spokesman. “Part of it is the natural growth that we’ve seen this year. It’s consistent with what we’ve seen throughout the year.”
Incidentally, the busiest days are still ahead of us. The Air Transport Association said Sunday will have the most people traveling, followed by Monday. Magaña said the busiest day at D/FW will be Sunday; second-busiest was last Friday, and Wednesday will be the third-busiest.
If you have not flown since last Thanksgiving or Christmas, be prepared for some changes at D/FW Airport and Love Field.
Both airports have ongoing construction projects that will throw a few twists at travelers.