2018 Thanksgiving Travel

2018 News Releases

New York Tops Thanksgiving Destinations for Air Travelers

ARC Data Reveals Air Travel Increased to Most Popular Locations

ARLINGTON, Va. – November 20, 2018 Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) reported today that New York is the most popular destination for airline travelers during the 2018 Thanksgiving travel season. ARC’s findings, based on ticket sales data from 12,253 U.S. retail travel agency locations and online travel agencies, indicate that many of the top 10 U.S. destinations feature warmer climates. The study included over 500,000 round-trip itineraries for travel within the U.S.

While New York topped the list for Thanksgiving travel, the number of travelers this year was almost the same as in 2017, with only a very small percentage drop in travelers flying to the Big Apple this year. Las Vegas, ranking third for holiday travelers, will see an 11 percent increase in air travel this Thanksgiving while Los Angeles grew 9 percent and Orlando will see a 7 percent jump.

Overall round-trip ticket prices for holiday travel are up only slightly from 2017. Consumers paid an average of $487 to travel for Thanksgiving, a 2 percent increase from last year.

The 10 top Thanksgiving travel destinations in 2018 are:

  1. New York
  2. Orlando
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Chicago
  6. San Francisco
  7. Atlanta
  8. Dallas
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Miami

Hillary Smith

Notes for Editors:
*Ticket Sales

  • Thanksgiving travel occurred between the Saturday before Thanksgiving and the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • Average ticket price is for round-trip ticket only and includes all taxes and fees.
  • Airport destinations include the United States with flights originating within the U.S.
  • Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines.


As a leader in air travel intelligence and omnichannel retailing, ARC provides platforms, tools and insights that help the global travel community connect, grow and thrive. ARC enables the diverse retailing strategies of its customers by providing innovative technology, flexible settlement solutions and access to the world’s most comprehensive air transaction dataset. In 2019, ARC managed more than $97.4 billion in transactions between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 302 million passenger trips. For more information, please visit arccorp.com.

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Randy Spoon