Traveling for Christmas? What to know about airport crowds and traffic

Remote work is changing travel patterns

Daher said Deloitte’s research found that more than a quarter of travelers plan to work during their holiday trips this year, especially those under 55.

Expect crowded airports

You can still anticipate crowds at airports. Airlines have sold about 54 million seats between Dec. 18 and Jan. 3, up 20 percent from last year and 4 percent from 2019, according to Hopper.

Expect crowded airports

Air travel is expected to peak on the days immediately before Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas.

Fingers crossed for good weather

Aviation experts told The Washington Post last month that airlines have built more resiliency into their schedules and staffing since the chaos of summer travel. 

Fingers crossed for good weather

That bodes well for Christmas travel, they said, but weather remains an Achilles’ heel.

Avoid the busiest days on the roads

If you’re traveling by car, it’s best to avoid driving on Dec. 23, Dec. 27, Dec. 28 and Jan. 2, all days when holiday travelers will be mixing with normal commuter traffic, according to AAA. 

Avoid the busiest days on the roads

Travel times on those days can be up to 25 percent longer nationwide, with double the normal delays in major metro areas.

Book a last-minute deal

Domestic flights for the holidays are averaging around $339 round-trip, which is 15 percent lower than last year, according to Hopper. 

Book a last-minute deal

But if you haven’t booked your travel yet, you should do so now, because prices will start to rise about $10 per day in the final week or two before Christmas, according to the travel app.

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