Traveling around the holidays is always stressful, but depending on where you're starting out and where you're headed, it could be particularly bad. Especially if you're flying out of Oakland, Dallas, or Chicago, according to new data compiled by Treetopia, an online retailer devoted to artificial Christmas trees and wreaths.
Treetopia crunched some numbers to discover the worst airports, airlines, and days to travel around the Thanksgiving holiday, discovering that certain travelers have a much better better shot of having a smooth airport experience than others. In some cases, it could be a matter of going to the airport across town, even. Based on data from last November's holiday travel, here are the worst places to fly out of in late November:
In Chicago, for instance, Midway faces some of the worst delays in the country around Thanksgiving, but O'Hare has one of the best track records. In the D.C. area, you're much better off flying out of Dulles (No. 5 on the Best Airports list) than the Baltimore-Washington airport (No. 9 on the Worst Airports list). And in the Bay Area, you want to avoid going to either Oakland (the country's worst airport for Thanksgiving travel, and a regular on most-delayed lists) or San Jose (the fifth worst). Hopefully you can fly out of San Francisco instead.
If you're looking for the most reliable travel experience, below are the best airports and airlines to fly that week, according to Treetopia's numbers.
However, your likelihood of delay is also affected by which airline you're flying with and what route you're traveling on. Shorter routes in particular seem to be at risk of delays—especially if you're flying within California.
And here are the airlines you should avoid and the ones you should gravitate toward if you're looking to get to Thanksgiving dinner on time:
Best of luck at the airport this holiday season! And get ready: Christmas/holiday-travel season is just a few short weeks away.