Airlines expect small increase in Thanksgiving travel

About 27.3 million passengers will travel worldwide on U.S. airlines over the Thanksgiving travel period, up about 2.5 percent from last year, according to a report from industry trade group Airlines for America.

The most hectic day in the 12-day period spanning Nov. 18 through Nov. 29 is expected to be Nov. 27, with 2.81 million passengers, while Thanksgiving Day — Nov. 24 — will see the fewest fliers, with 1.51 million, Airlines for America said Wednesday.

To accommodate the projected 55,000 additional passengers per day, airlines have added 74,000 seats each day with larger planes and extra flights, the airline industry group said.

The trade group attributed the increase in Thanksgiving travel to lower airfares. Across nine publicly traded U.S. airlines that have reported third-quarter financial results, passenger fares per mile are down 5.6 percent compared with last year, according to the group’s report.