Expect huge crowds at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this Thanksgiving holiday. Orbitz says LAX will be busiest airport in U.S.

Oddly enough they also predict that John Wayne Airport (SNA), which is just 40 miles South on the 405 freeway to be one of the least-crowded.

It’s the second year that Orbitz predicted that LAX would be the busiest airport based on passenger volume followed by Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), JFK in New York City,  San Francisco International (SFO) and Boston Logan International (BOS).

Airlines for America, the trade group that represents American airlines, predicts 24.6 million fliers will take to the skies from Nov. 21 through Dec. 2. It says busiest days will be the Sunday (Nov. 30) and Monday (Dec. 1) after Thanksgiving and the day before (Nov. 26).

The Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest travel time of the year with notorious flight delays and freeway traffic. Don’t let these travel snags turn your travels into a Thanksgiving nightmare. With a bit of forethought and some Thanksgiving travel planning you can have a drama-free adventure.

Thanksgiving Airport Travel tips (if you’re flying in or out of the busy airports):

1. Check in for your flight online before you leave for the airport.

2. Double check your flight is ontime.

3. Allow for extra time for your ride to the airport.

4. Sign up for electronic alerts that will keep you up to date on the status of your flight. Many airlines such as Delta and American Airlines offer these notifications.

5. Travel light. More airlines are charging for checked bags, so it’s a good idea to pack light and carry on your bag.

6. Consider shipping some of your belongings to your final destination ahead of time, especially presents and bulky items like diapers or extra clothes that you won’t need for the journey.

7. Make sure your carry-on bag meets your airlines’ guidelines and doesn’t contain anything that could slow you down through airport security.

8. Arrive at the airport two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights if you’re traveling during peak hours.

9. If traveling from LAX Gina Ferazzi of the Los Angeles Times says that the busiest times will be 6 to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m.

If you haven’t bought your ticket already, plan your travel dates based on how long you are willing to stand in long lines! And remember, Tuesday and Wednesday are the best day to score the best prices on airfare (See #16 on our Budget Travel Tips page).

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