U.S. Airlines Prepared to Meet Demand This Winter Holiday Season
December 14, 2023
Carriers to transport 59,000 tons of cargo daily, anticipate 39 million passengers
WASHINGTON, December 14, 2023 – U.S. airlines have been preparing for months and are ready to welcome more than 39 million passengers during the winter holiday season, December 20, 2023 – January 2, 2024.
Airlines for America (A4A), representing the leading U.S. passenger and cargo carriers, projects about 2.8 million passengers will fly per day over the holidays, which is a 16 percent increase from 2022. The busiest days are projected to be Thursday, December 21, and Friday, December 22, preceding Christmas as well as Tuesday, December 26, through Friday, December 29, following Christmas, with 3 million passengers per day.
A4A member carriers are also working around the clock to move packages – including gifts and Christmas cookies – around the world this holiday season. U.S. airlines transport more than 59,000 tons of goods on a daily basis including high-value electronics, fresh food and flowers, live animals and medical supplies around the world.
U.S. airlines have been working for months to accommodate unprecedented demand throughout the holiday season. In preparation, airlines have been:
- Hiring aggressively to ensure the right people are in the right place at the right time. Today, U.S. passenger airlines maintain our largest workforce in the last two decades and have been hiring at a pace 3.5 times higher than the overall U.S. job growth. More information regarding the industry’s investment in our workforce can be found here.
- Adjusting schedules to reflect passenger demand, accommodate ATC staffing shortages and prioritize operational performance.
- And investing in the latest technology including mobile apps to ensure efficient communication with travelers.
Tips for Travelers:
Keep an eye on the weather: Safety is always our industry’s top priority. Airlines do everything within their control to ensure flights depart and arrive on time, but if conditions make it unsafe to operate an aircraft or for crews to work outside, our planes will not take off. More information is available here.
Download your airline’s mobile app: Don’t forget to download your carrier’s app as soon as you purchase a ticket! U.S. airlines have made significant investments in their mobile apps so they rely any flight updates such as boarding times, gate numbers and any other important announcements.
Allow plenty of time: Be sure to allow extra time if you are using a car service, as they get particularly busy around the holiday travel season. If you are driving yourself to the airport, allow ample time for heavy airport traffic and be aware that some parking garages are under construction.
Pack snacks and an empty water bottle: It’s the holidays which means some people may already be reconnected with their families so, some airport vendors may be closed. Take a snack and an empty water bottle that you can fill after clearing security.
Add your TSA PreCheck to your reservation: If you are enrolled in TSA PreCheck, make sure the TSA checkmark is on your boarding pass before getting to the airport for a smoother, expedited security screening.
Reserve parking: Some airports offer reserved parking. Be sure to check your airport’s website to see if you can reserve your spot to save you time when you get to the airport.