According to data compiled by Buyagift last year regarding the scheduled flights of passengers from December 21st to the 25th, there are certain airports in the United States that you’ll definitely want to avoid if you’re travelling this holiday season.
Knowing when to book your flights for Christmas is key, but if you can’t avoid travelling on peak holiday dates, then you’ll at least want to prepare yourself for the hoards of people you’ll encounter at the security gate line. If not, you might not make it home for Christmas in time.
This holiday season, prepare to get to the airport well in advance if you’re travelling through and one of the United States’ seven busiest airports at Christmas.
United States’ Busiest Airports At ChristmasHow do these rankings work?
1. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Over 800,000 people flew to the Chicago O’Hare International Airport during December 21st and 25th last year, making it by far the busiest airport at Christmas, at least in the United States. Expect nearly 5,500 flights to arrive to the Chicago airport during peak Christmas travel, bringing over 600,000 people to the popular city. Last year, TSA officials recommended packing carry-on bags light and organising them to help passengers move through security checks faster.
2. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
The Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport was actually ranked as the No. 1 busiest airport in the world. With 107,394,029 passengers passing through this popular airport each year, it’s easy to see why it’s also one of the United States’ busiest airports at Christmas. Last Christmas, the Atlanta airport expected to receive 5,253 arrivals during the 5-day holiday peak travel dates. And, it’s likely because Atlanta is such a popular airport for connections.
3. Los Angeles International Airport
LAX was ranked as the fourth busiest airport in the entire world during average months. 87,534,384 pass through this California airport each year, but during Christmas things seem to get especially hectic. Last year, the airport expected to receive 4,269 arrivals during the holidays. And, with airport traffic being horrible pretty much any time of the year, you can imagine just how packed the arrival and departure lanes are here around Christmas.
4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
If you’ve ever passed through the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport then you’ll understand just how massive the place is. So, it’s easy to see how the North Texas airport welcomed an estimated 543,000 passengers during the Christmas season last year. Texas, in general, is a pretty hot Christmas travel destination. Nearly 1.5 million passengers arrived to the state last year for the holidays.
5. Denver International Airport
Colorado was the seventh most popular state for Christmas arrivals in 2018, welcoming over 550,000 passengers home for the holidays. And, the Denver International Airport not only ranks as the fifth busiest airport at Christmas in the United States, but it’s also the fifth internationally in terms of arrivals and departures. The top four are the four mentioned above, so United States airports are some of the busiest in the world around the holidays.
6. Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Charlotte’s gaining popularity on the international stage as a hot tourist destination. But, for those looking to fly back to the North Carolina city, you might want to wait until after December 25th. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport ranked eight on an international level for busiest airport in terms of departure; it ranked seventh for arrivals.
7. Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
As we mentioned, nearly 1.5 million passengers arrived to Texas last year for the holidays. While most connecting flights pass through the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, a number of them stop in Houston, too. New York City is the United States’s busiest city. But, the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport expected to receive over 3,000 flights in just five days. Bah humbug!