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Which Airports Will Be Busiest This Thanksgiving?

Thursday, 8 Nov 2012 | 12:05 PM ET

Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks away, and planes will be packed as travelers take to the skies. But which airports will be the busiest?

Hitoshi Nishimura | Taxi Japan | Getty Images

Orbitz Worldwide released its Thanksgiving Insider Index on Thursday. It ranks the most- and least-crowded airports during the holiday weekend based on Orbitz flight bookings to the top 50 U.S. airports for travel between November 21 and November 26.

So which airports will see the most fliers? Orbitz's Thanksgiving Insider Index shows the following will be busiest:

  1. Chicago O'Hare International
  2. Los Angeles International
  3. San Francisco International
  4. New York LaGuardia
  5. Boston Logan International
  6. New York John F. Kennedy International
  7. Orlando International
  8. Denver International
  9. Ronald Reagan National Airport (Washington, D.C.)
  10. Ft. Lauderdale International

And the least-busiest airports at Thanksgiving will be:

  1. Buffalo Niagara International
  2. Jacksonville International
  3. Nashville International
  4. Sacramento International
  5. Bradley International (Hartford, Conn.)
  6. Palm Beach International
  7. Cleveland Hopkins International
  8. John Wayne Airport (Santa Ana, Calif.)
  9. San Antonio International
  10. Salt Lake City International

More Americans Flying This Thanksgiving

Airlines for America (A4A), an airline industry trade organization, is forecasting nearly 24 million passengers will fly this Thanksgiving holiday season — about 150,000 or 0.63 percent ore than last year, according to a report released Wednesday.

Though slightly higher, the forecast is still 10 percent below the peak travel years of 2006 and 2007. The Thanksgiving travel period is defined from November 16 through November 27.

The busiest travel day will be the Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 25) with 2.4 million passengers carried, according to A4A. And the Wednesday before (November 21) and Monday following (November 26) will each see 2.3 million passengers. Planes are expected to be close to 90 percent full on those days.

No matter which airport you may be flying through, the same advice applies to make your travel smoother: check-in online in advance, arrive at the airport early and be patient if delays occur.

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