- Özgür Töre
A record number of travelers this Christmas/New Year’s travel season will travel and a recent study based on data from TSA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed busiest airports and wait times at airports and border crossings.
Chicago O'Hare International and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International will be the busiest airports in the country during the 2019 holiday season according to the study announced by InsureMyTrip.
Passengers should check crowd-sourced airport security wait times by using the My TSA application and prepare for longer lines during Christmas week
Passengers with departing flights at busier airports are more likely to utilize a travel delay benefit and, therefore, may want to compare travel insurance policies with better delay protection.
Busiest Airports This Christmas
InsureMyTrip predicts these airports will be busiest during 2019 Christmas week, based on total domestic flights reported for 2019 thus far:
- Chicago, IL: Chicago O'Hare International (busiest)
- Atlanta, GA: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
- Dallas/Fort Worth, TX: Dallas/Fort Worth International
- Denver, CO: Denver International
- Charlotte, NC: Charlotte Douglas International
- Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles International
- Seattle, WA: Seattle/Tacoma International
- Houston, TX: George Bush Intercontinental/Houston
- Phoenix, AZ: Phoenix Sky Harbor International
- San Francisco, CA: San Francisco International
- Detroit, MI: Detroit Metro Wayne County
- New York, NY: LaGuardia
- Las Vegas, NV: McCarran International
- Minneapolis, MN: Minneapolis-St Paul International
- Newark, NJ: Newark Liberty International
- Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia International
- Boston, MA: Logan International
- Washington, DC: Ronald Reagan Washington National
- Orlando, FL: Orlando International
- New York, NY: John F. Kennedy International
- Salt Lake City, UT: Salt Lake City International
- Baltimore, MD: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall
- San Diego, CA: San Diego International
- Fort Lauderdale, FL: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
- Washington, DC: Washington Dulles International
InsureMyTrip analyzed non-stop domestic flights by major air carriers collected in 2019 thus far by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Longest Estimated Security Wait Times
According to InsureMyTrip, here's a general look at the time of the week when security wait times for passengers tend to be the longest:
Airport / Busiest Day and Time / Average Wait Times
- Chicago O'Hare International — Sun. between 8 am - 9 am (30 - 45 min)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International — Mon. between 7 am - 9 am (30 - 45 min)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International — Sun. between 6 am - 7 am (15 - 30 min)
- Denver International — Sun. between 9 am - 10 am and Sat. 8 am - 10 am (30 - 45 min)
- Charlotte Douglas International — Sun. 1 pm - 2 pm (60 min or more)
- Los Angeles International — Varies* (15 - 30 minutes, most of the time)
- Seattle/Tacoma International — Sat. 6 am - 8 am (30-45 min)
- George Bush Intercontinental/Houston — Wed. 2 pm - 4 pm and Fri. 5 am - 6 am (30 - 45 min)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International — Tues. 5 am - 6 am (15 - 30 min)
- San Francisco International — Thurs. 8 am - 9 am and Fri (15 - 30 min)
This data was collected by the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) and analyzed by InsureMyTrip. Data only includes standard wait time estimates for the busiest US airports, based on the latest historical data available. Does not include wait times for TSA PreCheck passengers. Los Angeles International is listed as varied wait times, due to no clear day and time when extended wait times are more likely to happen.
Both the TSA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provide information on wait times at airports and border crossings.While security wait times are dynamic, travelers can check crowd-sourced airport security wait times by using theMy TSA app prior to departure.
Best Protection For Flight Delays
Based on these data results, travelers can make smarter choices about their travel plans and travel insurance purchases. For example, passengers with departing flights at busier airports are more likely to utilize a travel delay benefit and, therefore, may want to compare travel insurance policies with better delay protection.
"If travelers are made aware of the probability of delays, they can then use that data to help them compare travel delay benefits when considering a travel insurance purchase," says InsureMyTrip Intelligence Analyst Danny DeMello.
Travel delay benefits vary with each travel insurance provider. Typically, the wait period for travel delay benefits go into effect is between a 5 and 12-hour window. The benefit is designed to provide reimbursement for reasonable meals and accommodations while unable to travel.
Tip: Travelers must be delayed for a certain number of hours before this benefit can be applied. When comparing travel insurance, look for the minimum delay time (typically, starting at 5 hours) to start qualifying for coverage as soon as possible.
Best Protection For Delayed Bags
Travelers may also want to ensure baggage delay coverage is included under a selected comprehensive travel insurance plan. Baggage delay coverage generally becomes active after belongings have been delayed for a specified period of time, typically 12 or 24 hours.
Tip: When comparing travel insurance, look for a maximum per-person coverage amount. For example, some policies may offer a more generous max limit, like $500 per person to purchase incidentals.
Best Protection For Missing Cruise Departure
For those concerned about a delayed flight adversely affecting a cruise or tour departure, travelers may also want to ensure a missed connection benefit is included under a selected comprehensive travel insurance plan. This benefit is designed to provide travelers with coverage if a delayed flight (for example, of 3 hours or more) causes a traveler to miss a cruise departure.