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Holiday Travelers Should Expect Delays

December 21, 2010

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Though statistically the summer months are the busiest of all, airline passengers should expect delays this holiday season. From severe winter weather to amateur travelers clogging airport lines, USA Today warns that the holidays are the season for delays.

A recent USA Today analysis reports that “the three weeks from mid-December through the New Year holiday are the most delay-prone period of the year at airports.” Daily passenger volumes are expected to range from 1.7 to 2.3 million during the holidays.

Reason for Delays

  • Bad Weather: Snow storms, heavy rain, and strong winds contribute to flight cancellations and delays.
  • Inexperienced Travelers: Amateur fliers traveling with children and extra luggage may slow security checkpoints and boarding.

Other Slow Travel

Travelers using automobiles, buses, and trains can also expect crowded conditions.

  • Auto: AAA estimates 85.7 million people will drive to their holiday destinations.
  • Bus: Greyhound expects a 40 percent increase in travel volume in the week leading to Christmas.
  • Rail: Amtrack reports a record 28.7 million riders for the fiscal year.


“For air travelers, holidays are the season for delays.” Alan Levin and Roger Yu. USA Today. December
2010. Accessed on 12/21/2010.

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