Sunday Predicted to Be One of the Busiest Air Travel Days of 2018

Jul 7, 2018

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Most travelers probably assume that Thanksgiving and Christmas are the busiest travel days of the year. But as we have learned over the past week, it turns out that the days around the Fourth of July are actually the busiest in US aviation.

Our education started with the revelation from the TSA that Friday, June 29 was forecast to be the busiest day ever in TSA history. Sure enough, the agency confirmed that a record 2.67 million fliers were screened that day, as part of the busiest week in the TSA’s history.

While we’ve gotten over that hump, the crowds aren’t going to start dying down yet. As we learned from American Airlines this week, Sunday, July 8 is shaping up to be in the top 5 busiest for the year. In fact, the world’s largest airline expects to carry approximately 690,000 passengers across 6,747 flights in that one day alone.

To break those numbers down, that’s the equivalent of a full 102-seat American Airlines A321T taking off every 10 seconds from about 5:15am until midnight.

While that’s a lot of passengers, it still isn’t expected to be the busiest day of 2018. So far, that honor goes to June 30 with nearly 700,000 customers on 6,900 flights. June 22 (692,000 passengers) and June 29 (690,000 passengers) are the other busiest travel dates so far.

But what about the rest of July? An American Airlines spokesperson shared that the airline’s busiest days of July in terms of passengers are expected to be (in descending order): July 8, July 20, July 13, July 9 and July 27.

What does the airline recommend you do? Show up early. Regardless if you’re checking bags or carrying-on, the airline recommends that you arrive 1.5 hours early if traveling domestically or 2 hours early minimum if traveling internationally.

With that said, you can probably show up a bit later if you’re carrying-on, have TSA PreCheck, use the TSA app to track security wait time and use a mobile boarding pass. That way, you can skip the ticket counter and take a much faster and more comfortable trip through security. And hopefully you can even find some space in a lounge before your flight.

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