Advertiser Disclosure

Almost 46 Million People Expected to Fly During the 2018 Holidays

Dec. 14, 2018
Travel, Vacations & Trip Planning
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

The bustle of the holidays is in full swing, and that means the holiday rush in the sky is ramping up, too.

But just how jam-packed will airport terminals be this year? Airlines for America put together an air travel forecast for the 2018 holidays, and it’s a busy one, to say the least.

The breakdown

  • 45.7 million passengers are expected to travel Dec. 20, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019, a 5.2% increase from last year. Just over 2.5 million passengers are expected to fly each day.
  • The three busiest days are expected to be Friday, Dec. 21, 2018 with 2.91 million passengers traveling, while 2.87 million passengers are expected to travel Thursday, Dec. 20 and 2.78 million on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
  • To accommodate the huge number of travelers, U.S. airlines plan on opening up an additional 143,000 seats per day, allowing 126,000 more daily passengers to travel through the skies.

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Nerdwallet’s top travel credit cards
Your money-saving guide to holiday vacations (or staycations)
Smart ways to rein in holiday spending

About the author