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The best (and worst) days to fly during winter holidays

by Alice

For travellers dreaming of being home for Christmas without plane delays, a new study offers helpful data points that can potentially make your holiday travels hassle-free.

Travellers should prepare for busier airports, as 50.44 percent of Americans are expected to travel, up from 42.98 percent last year.

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The report predicts that the busiest travel days for the Christmas holiday will be 21-23 December, and recommends flying on or before 20 December for the least amount of airport traffic.

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For those looking to get a travel deal on cheaper flights, flying on the holiday itself could be a helpful solution. The study recommends traveling on Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day, as airlines tend to have a high number of seats available at a discounted price with the lowest number of passengers.

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“More than 59 percent of American adults say they have little or no confidence that airlines will be able to avoid excessive delays and cancellations this holiday season,” writes Eric Jones, CEO of The Vacationeer, in the survey’s analysis. “After all the travel problems and meltdowns last year, it is understandable that people are not confident this holiday season. On the other hand, nearly 7 per cent of people said they were ‘very confident’ that airlines will be able to avoid delays and cancellations.”

Airlines and travel experts also have helpful tips for holiday travelers. United Airlines, for example, recently provided travel tips for the Thanksgiving holiday, including a strong recommendation to download and use the airline’s mobile app. Delta Air Lines recommends arriving at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight.

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