Anticipating the busiest holiday travel period since 2005, American travelers are preparing for the rush. AAA predicts significant numbers of air travelers for Thanksgiving. North Texas airports such as Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) and Dallas Love Field Airport are projected to host record-breaking numbers of passengers according to Fox 4 News, and KERA News.
In its 50-year history, DFW Airport is on track to experience its busiest period yet, with around 2.9 million travelers expected to arrive or depart between Thursday and Saturday, in addition, 4.5 million are expected between December 14 and January 2. The two Sundays surrounding Thanksgiving—accounting for nearly half a million passengers—are set to be peak travel days according to Fox 4 News, and KERA News.
The airline industry continuously strengthens its capacity to meet increased demand. Katy Nastro of Going, a service that helps travelers find cheap flights, informed that "our cancellation rate for the first eight months of 2023 has actually been about half of what it was in 2022." This progress is due to airlines' efforts to keep more planes in reserve and hire more pilots, per Fox 4 News.
As the industry prepares for the passenger surge, airline workers vocalize their demands. Flight attendants picketed outside the American Airlines headquarters in Euless, and the Southwest Pilots Association opened its first 'strike center' in Dallas, according to Fox 4 News. Katy Nastro reminded passengers that "there are so many steps to happen before something significant like a walkout or a strike to actually take place." Airlines maintain they are fully equipped to manage the holiday travel surge despite ongoing negotiations.
North Texas airport officials suggest multiple tactics to cope with the busy season. DFW Airport imparts a reminder to check its website or mobile app to prepare for long queues and wait times. DFW's vice president of customer experience, Sharon McCloskey, recommends that passengers should arrive "three hours early if you're flying internationally, two hours early if you're flying domestically", according to KERA News.
Dallas Love Field Airport, projected to manage roughly half a million passengers between Thursday and on the 28th, is braced to deal with increased congestion and limited parking, as mentioned by KERA News. For travelers, the airport suggests pre-checking parking capacities online, considering alternative transportation options, and planning for potential delays.