The Busiest Airports This Holiday Season

If you’re flying out of these places, prepare for long lines.

planes-on-runway
Photo by Joe Drivas/Getty Images

The holiday season is a time to gather with loved ones and relax, but you’ve got to get to your destination first. If you’re flying you already know you should arrive early to leave enough time to get through check-in lines (if you’re checking a bag) and security lines, but you might want to account for even extra time if you’re flying out of certain airports. Travel site Orbitz.com has compiled a list of the busiest airports for Thanksgiving and Christmas travel this year.

The list is based on flights to the top 50 U.S. airports between November 23-26, 2016 and December 22-28, 2016 booked through Orbitz. “Travelers have come to rely upon the busiest airport rankings from Orbitz.com to better navigate the holiday travel season. This year, we’ve analyzed data not only for Thanksgiving, but also for Christmas in order to arm people with information to help them better prepare for departure,” Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor at Orbitz.com, said in a press release. “Travelers looking to avoid the crowds and long lines should consider flying on off-peak days like Thanksgiving Day or booking airfare to alternative airports in the busiest regions, like John Wayne International in nearby Orange County instead of LAX.”

If you’re traveling during the holiday season, see a list of the busiest airports below. (And don't forget to check out our smartest holiday travel tips.)

Busiest Airports for Thanksgiving Travel

  1. Chicago O’Hare International; Chicago, Illinois
  2. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International; Atlanta, Georgia
  3. Los Angeles International; Los Angeles, California
  4. Denver International; Denver, Colorado
  5. Dallas-Fort Worth International; Dallas, Texas
  6. Charlotte-Douglas International; Charlotte, North Carolina
  7. Newark Liberty International; Newark, New Jersey
  8. Houston George Bush Intercontinental; Houston, Texas
  9. San Francisco International; San Francisco, California
  10. John F. Kennedy International; New York, New York

Busiest Airports for Christmas Travel

  1. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International; Atlanta, Georgia
  2. Chicago O’Hare International; Chicago, Illinois
  3. Los Angeles International; Los Angeles, California
  4. Charlotte-Douglas International; Charlotte, North Carolina
  5. Dallas-Fort Worth International; Dallas, Texas
  6. Denver International; Denver, Colorado
  7. John F. Kennedy International; New York, New York
  8. Seattle-Tacoma International; Seattle, Washington
  9. Phoenix Sky Harbor International; Phoenix, Arizona
  10. Orlando International; Orlando, Florida