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Flight Stats
Thanksgiving 2010
When and Where to Expect Delays
November 22, 2010
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In this issue .....
The Best and Worst Days to Travel
The Best and Worst Airports
How to Find Out What's Happening This Weekend
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FlightStats provides global flight status information and is the definitive source for historical airline performance data. Conducive Technology is also a leading supplier of air travel information services to travel agencies, logistics professionals, airlines, airports and industry analysts.
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Best and Worst Thanksgiving Days to Travel
We looked at airline on-time arrivals and cancellations over the past three Thanksgiving Holiday weekends to help travelers understand what to expect and plan accordingly.

Wednesday is the worst day leading up to the holiday weekend to travel. However, overall, US airlines have managed to get 80% of their flights to their destinations on time on the day before Thanksgiving over the past three years. Travel is much more reliable, however on Thanksgiving day with 87% of flights arriving on time.

On the return side, Friday is by far the best day to fly with better than 90% of flights arriving on time during the past three Thanksgiving holidays. Saturday is also good at > 84%. If you plan to return on Sunday or Monday, you should expect delays. On-time performance on Sunday drops to just over 70% and plunges to 64% on Monday as holiday travelers collide with the Monday business travel rush.

Cancellations follow a similar pattern. Travelers are over 5 times more likely to have their flight canceled on the Monday after Thanksgiving than on Friday, the day after the holiday.

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Best and Worst Airports for Delays and Cancelations
Here's a list of airports that tend to operate relatively smoothly and their average on-time departure performance during the past three Thanksgiving holidays.

  1. SLC Salt Lake City - 89.00% on-time departures
  2. MSP Minneapolis - 86.61%
  3. PDX Portland, OR - 86.43%
  4. SAN San Diego - 85.00%
  5. SEA Seattle - 84.88%
  6. MEM Memphis - 84.72%
  7. PHX Phoenix - 84.42%
  8. LAX Los Angeles - 82.65%
  9. LAS Las Vegas - 82.59%
  10. CLE Cleveland - 82.43%

Expect delays if you are planning to fly to or through the following airports:

  • ORD Chicago - 72.32% on-time departures
  • ATL Atlanta - 71.19%
  • LGA New York - 71.04%
  • DFW Dallas - 69.23%
  • MIA Miami - 67.03%
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How to Track Travel Conditions This Weekend
FlightStats provides the resources you need to watch your local airport and see what's happening in real time nationwide. We also offer free syndicated content that you can use in your online publications to keep your viewers informed.

For a daily, up-to-the minute report card on how an airport is doing, you can check the FlightStats on-time performance scorecard. Just point your browser to:

Type in the airport name or code and select search. Here's what Seattle Tacoma International airport looked like today (Monday) as of 6:00 PM on a day when an early snow and ice storm hit.

You can find performance scorecards for airlines as well here:

You can download and install free FlightStats widgets on your media sites that will show nationwide airport delay conditions on maps that are updated every 30 minutes. FlightStats airport delay maps paint a much more comprehensive view of airport delay conditions than the FAA delay maps which only show delays at airports that have air traffic control issues. Here's a sample:

You'll find these maps along with flight status widgets and much more in our developer center downloads gallery. Just point your web master to:

Or contact Derrek Wright at FlightStats if you need help.
phone: +1 503 445-4253
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