Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to travel, and unfortunately, it’s usually not all smooth sailing. Between delays, cancellations, and airport traffic, your holiday can go downhill in a hurry. You won’t always be able to avoid the most aggravating pitfalls of Thanksgiving travel, but you can do your best to minimize your frustrations. AirHelp, a passenger rights organization, conducted a study that looked at data from Thanksgiving 2018 to help travelers know what to expect this year.

When figuring out your travel plans, it can help to know which airports are known for their efficiency and which are best avoided due to frequent delays. According to data collected between November 21 and November 25, 2018, these are the airports AirHelp determined are the worst in the US for disruptions during Thanksgiving:

  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD): 1,130 flights
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): 960 flights
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO): 870 flights
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): 650 flights
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR): 610 flights
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): 600 flights
  • Logan International Airport (BOS): 550 flights
  • Denver International Airport (DEN): 530 flights
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT): 490 flights
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK): 480 flights

According to AirHelp, these were the most disrupted routes in the country last Thanksgiving. If you’re considering flying one of these routes, and you’re on a tight schedule, it might be worth exploring some alternatives:

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • San Diego International Airport (SAN) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Keep in mind that the busiest travel day tends to be the Sunday after Thanksgiving (which is December 1 this year), and the best time of day for avoiding flight disruptions is between 6:00 AM and 11:59 AM.

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