COVID-19 Impact On Air Travel This Thanksgiving

How COVID-19 Will Affect Air Travel This Thanksgiving

Like much of 2020, Thanksgiving travel will be heavily affected by COVID-19. As noted from a press release by AAA, more than 55 million travelers took a trip of 50 miles or more away from home for Thanksgiving in 2019. Last year was the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000, trailing only the record set in 2005. Unfortunately, this year we will not see the same amount of travelers due to COVID-19.  It is expected that we will see a significant decline in airline travel.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that they saw a record-breaking number of travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2019, screening more than 26 million passengers and crew members during the holiday travel period, from Friday, Nov. 22 to Monday, Dec. 2. On the busiest day, Dec. 1, more than 2.8 million travelers passed through TSA security checkpoints nationwide. With 2,870,764 travelers screened, it marked the most active day ever in the 18-year history of the agency.

Even though the airline industry is bracing for a much smaller turnout this year, they are offering more flights in November than October to meet the expected need of Thanksgiving travelers.  As noted in a recent Business Insider article, Delta was the first of the big three US airlines to adjust its November schedule. The airline has scheduled 93,233 domestic flights, about 5,400 more than it will fly in October, but down from 139,771 in November 2019.

So what should we expect this Thanksgiving holiday?  USA Today article states prices will be lower for the most part. The steepest declines are for air travel. The average price of nonstop round-trip flight tickets is down more than 30% for both Thanksgiving weekend compared to 2019. Hotel rates are down 10% for Thanksgiving weekend.

If you are considering traveling for Thanksgiving this year, please make sure to be prepared for a very different experience than last year.  Be prepared for enhanced health screenings at the airport and hotels. Make sure to pre-plan your arrangements for holiday activities and events as they may be affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Trawick International wants everyone to have the best possible Thanksgiving experience they can have.  That is why we highly recommend travelers purchase a travel cancellation insurance policy that covers COVID-19 related losses.  For more information about how Trawick International travel insurance covers COVID-19, check out our COVID-19 FAQ Page.