Travel Pros Predict This Will Be the Busiest Airport During Memorial Day Weekend
Nearly 200,000 travelers are expected to travel through this city during the long weekend (and no, it's not New York).
If Memorial Day Weekend conjures up images of endless airport security lines or bumper-to-bumper traffic, you're not alone in dreading the chaos that comes with the inaugural getaway of the summer season. Over 15.5 million Americans are expected to depart for the long weekend on either a domestic or international flight, and a new study from Hopper reveals that one U.S. airport will experience a greater influx of travelers than any other.
After analyzing over three years of passenger data, the travel booking app discovered that Atlanta (ATL) will be the busiest airport this weekend, with a projected 188,775 travelers passing through between Thursday, May 23 and Monday, May 27. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD) ranks number two for the highest number of expected travelers, while Los Angeles (LAX) is currently tracking for 148,255 visitors.
Hopper's findings were based on the volume of scheduled departing passengers for Memorial Day Weekend, and the study identified a total of 25 airports that are bound for long lines. Additional findings revealed that Thursday and Friday are the most popular travel days for Americans who plan to take to the skies, and Hopper anticipates that nearly 3.4 million travelers will depart on vacations across the U.S. every single day leading up to the Monday holiday.
Planning a domestic getaway of your own this weekend? You'll join more than 13 million travelers with similar plans of a summer escape, while roughly 2.2 million travelers will pack up their passports for an international vacation. Hoppers warns that most traffic will peak between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. at domestic airports on Thursday and Friday, so pack your carry-on accordingly (we recommend plenty of snacks and a good read to make lengthy security lines more bearable).
To save yourself unnecessary stress, Hopper's consumer travel expert, Liana Corwin, suggests arriving at the airport between 1.5 to 2 hours before your departure time if you're flying domestic, and 3 hours for international flights. "You'll never regret spending an extra 20 minutes waiting at the gate, but you certainly will regret spending those extra 20 minutes at home if it means missing your flight," she says. "With airports around the country making updates to their dining and shopping options, a little extra time spent waiting for the flight will fly by."
Unsure of what to expect this weekend once you arrive at your terminal? Check out Hopper's list of the 25 busiest airports below, and start dreaming of summer destinations to experience before Labor Day arrives.
1. ATL (Atlanta, GA)
2. ORD (Chicago, IL)
3. LAX (Los Angeles, CA)
4. DFW (Dallas, TX)
5. DEN (Denver, CO)
6. JFK (New York City, NY)
7. SFO (San Francisco, CA)
8. LAS (Las Vegas, NV)
9. SEA (Seattle, WA)
10. CLT (Charlotte, NC)