My wife and I are flying to see family in Georgia for Thanksgiving this year. Unfortunately we are flying from one of the busiest airports in America (DIA) to the busiest airport in the U.S. (ATL) on one of the busiest days of the year.

Hopper and InsureMyTrip research teams say the busiest day to depart for Thanksgiving is Wednesday, November 21 and the busiest day to return from Thanksgiving is Sunday, November 25.

Top Busiest Airports & Times (local time):

  1. Atlanta (ATL) - 8:00am
  2. Los Angeles (LAX) - 7:00am
  3. Chicago (ORD) - 6:00pm
  4. Dallas (DFW) - 9:00am
  5. Denver (DEN) - 10:00am
  6. New York (JFK) - 6:00pm

787,629 passengers are expected to fly out of Denver International Airport the day before Thanksgiving in 2018. The busiest time that day is at 10am. Luckily we aren't flying out until 5:30pm. DIA reccomends showing up 2 hours before your flight, but we plan on arriving four hours early to deal with the unusually long TSA lines. We don't mind waiting around a little.

Some Flying Tips from DIA

  • Please plan accordingly and allow for extra time at the airport. (Holidays are usually busier than other times at the airport.)
  • Be inside the airport two hours prior to your flight departure time. This should allow time to navigate flight check-in, security lines and travel to your gate.
  • Before you leave the house, check with your airline to confirm that your flight is on time and check-in online if possible.
  • Check parking availability at


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