The Best and Worst Days to Fly for the Holidays This Year

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Photo: Ink Drop (Shutterstock)

With scorching temperatures currently found across much of the country, Thanksgiving and the December holidays can feel like they’re in the distant future. And if summer travel has been any indication, flying anywhere this holiday season is probably going to be a nightmare.

But some days will be worse than others—at least in terms of the cost of flights and crowds at the airport. Taking traffic, fares, and other factors into consideration, here are the best and worst days to fly for the 2022 holiday season.

The best and worst days to fly for Thanksgiving 2022

If you plan to travel for Thanksgiving and haven’t booked your flights yet, keep these dates in mind:

The worst days to fly

Based on travel data from previous holiday seasons, the team at The Vacationer predicts that the worst day to fly ahead of Thanksgiving is Wednesday, November 23, noting that it’s one of the most popular days of the year to fly, expensive, and that “airports are always packed, so it is an extra stressful experience.”

The worst day for a return flight is Sunday, November 27, because again, airports will be crowded—this time, with people who want to get home before the workweek starts.

The best days to fly

On the other hand, the best departure dates for Thanksgiving travel are:

  • Monday, November 21
  • Tuesday, November 22
  • Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving Day)

While flying on the holiday itself isn’t ideal, it may end up being the cheapest and easiest option, so it’s worth considering.

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The best dates for return flights are:

  • Friday, November 25
  • Monday, November 28
  • Tuesday, November 29

The best and worst days to fly for Christmas 2022

Here’s what to know about booking flights around Christmas and Hanukkah:

The worst days to fly

The worst days for a departure flight are:

  • Thursday, December 22
  • Friday, December 23

And the worst days for a return flight include:

  • Monday, December 26 (last night of Hanukkah)
  • Tuesday, December 27

The best days to fly

The earlier you’re able to fly out for Christmas and Hanukkah, the better. As it gets closer to the holidays, the best days for a departure flight are:

  • Sunday, December 18 (first night of Hanukkah)
  • Monday, December 19
  • Tuesday, December 20
  • Saturday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)
  • Sunday, December 25 (Christmas Day)

And the best days for a return flight include:

  • Wednesday, December 28
  • Thursday, December 29
  • Friday, December 30

For more information, you can find the entire report from The Vacationer here.

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