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O'Hare and LAX Top Orbitz List of Busiest Thanksgiving Airports

Orbitz experts share first-hand insight into Superstorm Sandy's impact on local hotels and what travelers can expect heading to the Northeast over the Thanksgiving holiday

CHICAGO, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and Los Angeles International (LAX) will see the biggest crowds of any U.S. airports over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to new data from Orbitz (www.orbitz.com). The Orbitz Thanksgiving Insider Index analyzed booking data from the top 50 U.S. airports to find the locations where flyers will flock to head home for the holidays. Additionally, the Index used booking data to identify the least-busy airport options, where in some cases travelers can trade a little more time in the car for far smaller crowds in the terminal.

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"We talk all the time about using alternative airports when it comes to finding a better price, but those tertiary options can also be a huge time saver when you are traveling during peak periods like Thanksgiving," said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior travel editor for Orbitz.com. "Look at Southern California, LAX is the second-busiest airport in the country over Thanksgiving, but just 40 miles away you have John Wayne, which is No. 8 on Orbitz least-busy airports list. With booking tools on sites like Orbitz making it so easy to compare airport options, taking some extra time to research your alternatives can really help you beat the crowds during the holidays."    

Most/Least-Busy Thanksgiving Airports
The Insider Index reviewed the top 50 U.S. airports based on flight bookings, and identifies those that will be the most and least-busy for travel between Nov. 21 and Nov. 26, 2012. Highlights of this year's Index include:

  • For the third straight year Chicago O'Hare and Los Angeles International are the nation's busiest Thanksgiving airports, though this year O'Hare edged out LAX to reclaim the top spot from 2010
  • Newark Liberty and Seattle-Tacoma dropped off the busiest airports list in 2012, while Ronald Regan National (Washington D.C.) and Ft. Lauderdale International moved into the bottom two spots on the top 10
  • San Francisco International moved up one spot to No. 3, while last year's third-busiest airport (Orlando International) dropped down five spots to No. 8
  • Buffalo Niagara will be the least-busy of the nation's top 50 airports, followed by Jacksonville International and Nashville International
  • Travelers leaving the busy San Francisco or Ft. Lauderdale areas can beat the crowds about an hour north at Sacramento International and Palm Beach International – number four and number six on the least-busy list   

Orbitz Insider Index: Busiest Airports for Thanksgiving 20121

2012

Rank

Airport Name

Location/Market

Airport

Code

2011

Rank

1

Chicago O'Hare International

Chicago, IL

ORD

2

2

Los Angeles International

Los Angeles, CA

LAX

1

3

San Francisco International

San Francisco, CA

SFO

4

4

New York LaGuardia

New York, NY

LGA

6

5

Boston Logan International

Boston, MA       

BOS

5

6

John F. Kennedy International

New York, NY

JFK

8

7

Orlando International

Orlando, FL

MCO

3

8

Denver International

Denver, CO

DEN

7

9

Ronald Regan National

Washington, DC

DCA

13

10

Ft. Lauderdale International

Fort Lauderdale, FL

FLL

15

Orbitz Insider Index: Top 10 Least-Busy Thanksgiving Airports2

2012

Rank

Airport Name

Location

Airport

Code

1

Buffalo Niagara International

Buffalo, NY

BUF

2

Jacksonville International

Jacksonville, FL

JAX

3

Nashville International

Nashville, TN

BNA

4

Sacramento International

Sacramento, CA

SMF

5

Bradley International

Hartford, CT

BDL

6

Palm Beach International

Palm Beach, FL

PBI

7

Cleveland Hopkins International

Cleveland, OH

CLE

8

John Wayne Airport

Santa Ana, CA

SNA

9

San Antonio International

San Antonio, TX

SAT

10

Salt Lake City International

Salt Lake City, UT

SLC

1Busiest airport data based on all Orbitz.com air ticket bookings (standalone and as part of a package) to the top 50 airports with arrivals and departures between Nov. 21 and Nov. 26, 2012.
2Least busy airports data based on all Orbitz.com air ticket bookings (standalone and as part of a package) to the top 50 airports with arrivals and departures between Nov. 21 and Nov. 26, 2012.

Peak Travel Periods
Orbitz also analyzed booking data to identify exactly when travelers will be flying over the holiday. As expected, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will be the peak departure day and will see more than twice as many flyers as on Thanksgiving Day itself. On the return side, it will be 16 percent busier to fly back on Sunday (November 25th) versus heading home on Monday (November 26th).

Thanksgiving Travel Post-Superstorm Sandy
Orbitz travel experts in the New York/New Jersey area have seen the impacts of Superstorm Sandy first-hand and say hotel bookings around New York City spiked to yearly highs the day after the storm hit, as people turned to local hotels to escape widespread flooding and power-outages.

"It was amazing to watch the hotels that didn't lose power respond when the storm hit and provide those basic necessities like hot showers and warm beds to those left with no place to stay," said Michael Anthony, Orbitz Regional Manager for Metro New York. "Over the last few days we've really seen New York City spring back to life, Broadway shows have resumed, the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Plaza have reopened. While there are still places in the area that are recovering, for the most part, people heading to popular tourist and business areas of the New York area for Thanksgiving should expect things to be business as usual." 

On top of Sandy's aftermath, Winter Storm Athena is hitting the northeast and could cause a delay in Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts. However, Orbitz experts say travelers heading in and out of areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy over Thanksgiving can expect all major airports to be up and running, though travelers should prepare for normal delays associated with busy holiday travel. While the majority of hotels in the region have resumed typical operations, including Atlantic City, there are areas such as Jersey City, Hoboken and the Jersey Shore where power outages persist and recovery is moving more slowly. Orbitz travel experts advise those heading to hotels in the tri-state region of greater New York to take the time to contact the property, confirm their reservation and transportation access, and find out that hotel's cancellation policy in case they need to rebook their stay.

About Orbitz.com
Orbitz.com is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and book an array of travel products and services, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages. Since launching its website in June 2001, Orbitz.com has become one of the largest online travel sites in the world and has led the industry with innovations including the Orbitz Matrix Display and Orbitz Price Assurance. The Matrix Display revolutionized the way the travel industry displayed fares and makes it quick and easy for consumers to compare flights, rental cars and vacation packages. Orbitz.com also offers "Insider Steals," a weekly, members-only flash sale that provides exclusive deals of 50% or more off of handpicked hotels in top destinations around the world as well as "Mobile Steals," exclusive hotel deals of up to 50% off in the most popular destinations around the world, available to mobile consumers via m.orbitz.com and the full suite of Orbitz mobile apps. On Orbitz.com consumers can search a broad range of suppliers worldwide. Orbitz.com is owned by Orbitz Worldwide. Stay connected to Orbitz.com with sale alerts, exclusive promotions and engaging conversations by following Orbitz on Facebook, Twitter and the Orbitz Travel Blog.

About Orbitz Worldwide
Orbitz Worldwide is a leading global online travel company that uses innovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to research, plan and book a broad range of travel products. Orbitz Worldwide owns a portfolio of consumer brands that includes Orbitz (www.orbitz.com), CheapTickets (www.cheaptickets.com), ebookers (www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (www.hotelclub.com), RatesToGo (www.ratestogo.com) and the Away Network (www.away.com). Also within the Orbitz Worldwide family, Orbitz Worldwide Distribution (corp.orbitz.com/partnerships/distribution) delivers private label travel solutions to a broad range of partners including many of the world's largest airlines, and Orbitz for Business (www.orbitzforbusiness.com) delivers managed corporate travel solutions for corporations. For more information on partnership opportunities with Orbitz Worldwide, visit corp.orbitz.com.

Orbitz Worldwide uses its Investor Relations website to make information available to its investors and the public at investors.orbitz.com. The public can sign up to receive email alerts whenever the company posts new information to the website.

SOURCE Orbitz.com

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