The Air Transport Association of America is expectng a 3.5 per cent year-over-year increase in the number of passengers traveling on U.S. airlines during...

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) is expectng a 3.5 per cent year-over-year increase in the number of passengers traveling on U.S. airlines during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday season from Friday, November 19 through Tuesday, November 30.

The ATA, which is the trade association for all of the largest U.S. airlines, is forecasting that U.S. airlines will carry a total of 24 million air travelers over the period, with daily passenger volumes ranging from 1.3 million to 2.5 million.


“It is reassuring to see travel levels rebounding, with the stronger economy,” says James May, ATA’s president and CEO. “While modest, the recovery is particularly encouraging given the deep hole that this industry was in a year ago.”

A line of aircraft wait on a taxiway at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to turn on to a runway for take-off. Hartsfield-Jackson is the world's busiest airport both for aircraft movements and for passengers

As is typical with the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, average daily load factors will approach 90 per cent on the busiest days, according to the ATA. Based on sample data from Thanksgiving 2009, the association expects the four busiest travel days of the 12-day period to be Sunday, November 28; Monday, November 29; Friday, November 19; and Wednesday, November 24, respectively. Thursday, November 25 is anticipated to be the least-busy day.

May encourages passengers to pack light, if possible; to check their flight status before leaving for the airport; and to remember to arrive early.

“During this busy travel period, passengers should provide plenty of time for airport check-in and security screening,” says May.

In addition, the ATA encourages passengers to consult its resource page at www.airlines.org/PassengersCargo/PassengerInfo/Pages/PassengerTravelTips.aspx for recommended travel tips.

In particular, the ATA encourages passengers to:

● Review the website of the airline on which they are flying for respective policies, amenities, customer service plans and flight-operation alert notifications;

● For all reservations made prior to November 1, contact their airline or booking source 72 hours prior to arriving at the airport to ensure their full name, date of birth, gender, and Redress number (if applicable) as included as part of their reservations as now required as by the Transportation Security Administration’s Secure Flight program; and

● Go to www.tsa.gov/travelers/mobile/index.shtm to download the MyTSA mobile application for airport status and screening checkpoint wait times, information on the ‘3-1-1 Rule’ for liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on bags, as well as the handling of food and gifts.