The Single Busiest Day to Fly Around Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week tends to draw major airport crowds. Coupled with inevitable weather delays and sometimes infrequent flyers, it can be a brutal time to travel. Not to mention, the conventional wisdom to fly on Tuesdays won’t necessarily save you much money.

But some days within Thanksgiving week are significantly busier than others. If you can afford to be flexible with your schedule, you’ll not only save money, but you might also avoid chaos.

The best and worst days to fly around Thanksgiving

NerdWallet analyzed the past three years of checkpoint travel numbers provided by the Transportation Security Administration, which tracks the number of passengers screened daily at U.S. TSA checkpoints.

In each of the past three years, the Sunday after Thanksgiving was the most crowded day to travel from the Friday before Thanksgiving through the Wednesday after.

As far as the least crowded? Thanksgiving Day itself.

When averaging over the past three years, here were the most to least crowded…

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This article was written by Sally French and originally published on