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Hopper and InsureMyTrip Release Thanksgiving Travel Report

Based on data, travelers can make smarter choices about their travel plans and a travel insurance purchase.

In an effort to help empower travelers to make more informed decisions when it comes to Thanksgiving travel plans, we have partnered with Hopper and InsureMyTrip research teams to reveal what airports and flights to avoid, the best time to buy, and how the latest data trends can aid travelers when comparing travel insurance benefits.

Best Time To Buy and Fly For Thanksgiving Travel
The data from Hopper revealed the following trends for Thanksgiving 2017:

  • Domestic flight prices are currently averaging about $322 round-trip for Thanksgiving compared to $288 last year (up about 12%).
  • You can save the most money by leaving on Monday, November 20 and returning Wednesday, November 29
  • Last year, the cheapest prices were available until about 55 days before departure (early October), averaging about $286. Between 15 – 25 days prior to departure, there were moderate increases of $1 per day. In the final two weeks, prices started spiking $10 per day.

This is the list of the busiest airports for Thanksgiving week, based on total departing passengers and volume of scheduled departures:

Rank
Airport
City
Total Passengers Departing During Thanksgiving Week
Busiest Time of Day (Local Time)
1
ATL
Atlanta
1,382,846
8:40 a.m.
2
LAX
Los Angeles
1,134,894
9:00 a.m.
3
ORD
Chicago
1,020,476
8:00 a.m.
4
DFW
Dallas
850,314
5:30 p.m.
5
JFK
New York City
837,078
5:30 p.m.
6
DEN
Denver
772,831
10:20 a.m.
7
SFO
San Francisco
745,123
9:40 a.m.
8
LAS
Las Vegas
636,132
12:00 p.m.
9
CLT
Charlotte
623,829
8:30 a.m.
10
PHX
Phoenix
613,433
8:50 a.m.
11
MIA
Miami
609,782
4:00 p.m.
12
SEA
Seattle
589,451
10:40 a.m.
13
MCO
Orlando
578,316
10:50 a.m.
14
EWR
Newark
569,967
4:20 p.m.
15
IAH
Houston
557,786
2:00 p.m.
16
BOS
Boston
498,827
6:00 a.m.
17
MSP
Minneapolis
466,675
6:30 p.m.
18
DTW
Detroit
464,338
6:50 p.m.
19
FLL
Fort Lauderdale
449,863
7:20 p.m.
20
LGA
New York City
417,180
8:30 a.m.
21
PHL
Philadelphia
392,102
4:50 p.m.
22
BWI
Baltimore
386,796
7:10 a.m.
23
DCA
Washington D.C.
321,346
4:10 p.m.
24
MDW
Chicago
319,357
7:20 a.m.
25
IAD
Washington D.C.
300,393
4:10 p.m.

Best Protection For Flight Delays

Based on these data results, travelers can make smarter choices about their travel plans and travel insurance purchases. For example, passengers with departing flights at busier airports are more likely to utilize a travel delay benefit and, therefore, may want to compare travel insurance policies with better delay protection.

Travel delay benefits vary with each travel insurance provider, generally between a 5 and 24-hour window. The benefit is designed to provide reimbursement for reasonable meals and accommodations while unable to travel.

Tip: Travelers must be delayed for a certain number of hours before this benefit can be applied. When comparing travel insurance, look for the minimum delay time (typically, starting at 5 hours) to start qualifying for coverage as soon as possible.

Best Protection For Delayed Bags

Travelers may also want to ensure baggage delay coverage is included under a selected comprehensive travel insurance plan. Baggage delay coverage generally becomes active after belongings have been delayed for a specified period of time, typically 12 or 24 hours.

Tip: When comparing travel insurance, look for a maximum per-person coverage amount as well as a per-day limit. For example, some policies may offer $500 per person to purchase incidentals, but only allow $200 to be spent per day.

Best Protection For Missing Cruise Departure

For those concerned about a delayed flight adversely affecting a cruise or tour departure, travelers may also want to ensure a missed connection benefit is included under a selected comprehensive travel insurance plan. This benefit is designed to provide travelers with coverage if a delayed flight (for example, of 3 hours or more) causes a traveler to miss a cruise departure.

Check back for more Holiday travel reports in the near future!

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