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Thanksgiving travel forecast: Thousands more to pack airports

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By Gina Esposito

WSOC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thousands more travelers will pack into airports nationwide this year to get to their Thanksgiving destinations.

Experts predict travel will be up 2.5 percent this holiday compared to last year.

Airlines are adding 74,000 seats a day and larger planes to accommodate the forecasted increase in travelers.

Airlines for America predicts an additional 55,000 people will be flying per day, from Friday, Nov. 18 through Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Experts say low airfare and extra seats are the reasons numbers are up.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday will be the busiest days to travel, with Thanksgiving itself being the lightest travel day.

A reward expert looked at flight data over the past five years from the Department of Transportation and found that American Airlines, which has a hub in Charlotte, ranked sixth among major carriers for on-time performance during the 11 days surrounding Thanksgiving, at 82.6 percent.

Experts also found that Charlotte Douglas is one the best airports in the country for on-time departures, ranking third, right behind Atlanta.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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