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Busiest Cities for the Holidays

Despite continuing economic troubles, more Americans are planning to travel this holiday season. According to a new report from AAA, an anticipated 42.5 million will be traveling 50 miles or more, which is 4 percent more than last year.

To find out where the greatest numbers of those Americans will be traveling, Bert Sperling of Sperling’s Best Places looked at airline flight statistics from last year. The resulting top 10 busiest cities are those that have the highest percentage of flights during the holidays. However, the list was not determined just by looking at raw numbers. Sperling’s team arrived at a list of the 100 largest airline destinations, counting only those flights that ended in each particular city so as not to include transfers.

“The large number of Florida cities in the top spots likely points to holiday travel to visit elderly parents who have retired to that state,” Sperling remarked. However, these may not all be ranking due to visiting family members — two tropical cities on the list are probably visited at this time more for vacations.

At the bottom of Sperling’s top 100 busiest holiday cites list were (counting from 100-96), Columbia, S.C.; Anchorage, Alaska; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Savannah, Ga.; and Louisville, Ky. Click ahead to see the 10 cities that ranked at the top, counting down to number 1.

By Colleen KanePosted November 22, 2011

Jeff Greenberg | Getty Images