12.9 million U.S travelers expected to fly over July 4th holiday weekend

Thursday and Friday will be the busiest travel days with nearly 2.7 million travelers departing daily from U.S airports, nearing 2019 levels.

Hayley Berg - Jun. 27, 2022

Summary

  • More than 12.9 million passengers are expected to depart from US airports over the long weekend, with most travelers 11 million staying in the US and some 1.8 million taking advantage of open borders and relaxed covid-19 travel requirements to head out of the country. 

  • Airports will be packed with travelers throughout the weekend, with an average of 2.6 million passengers departing each day. Thursday and Friday ahead of the long weekend will be the busiest travel days with closer to 2.7 million travelers departing. 

  • Atlanta (ATL), Los Angeles (LAX), Denver (DEN) and Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) top the list for busiest airports over the extended holiday weekend. If you’re flying out of one of these airports this 4th of July, be sure to get to the airport early to allow for extra time getting through security.

  • With flight delay and cancelation rates well above 2019 averages, travelers should prepare for potential disruptions traveling over the long weekend. Sign up for alerts about your trip to ensure you're aware of any changes to your trip and consider purchasing a product like Hopper’s Trip Protection. This product covers flight delays, cancellations & missed connections. If you experience a disruption, you can rebook immediately on ANY carrier & get out on the next flight for free, or receive a refund.


Summer is finally here, and with 4th of July falling on a Monday this year, millions of travelers are making a long weekend of it. More than 12.9 million passengers are expected to depart from US airports between Thursday and Monday. About 1.8 million travelers are taking advantage of open borders and relaxed covid-19 travel requirements to head out of the country, but most travelers, ~11 million, are heading to domestic destinations. 

Airports will be packed later this week, with 2.7 million departing travelers departing on Thursday and Friday ahead of the long weekend. Monday, July 4th will be the busiest day to return, with 2.2 million travelers expected to take to the skies. Plan for extra time getting through security and longer lines at the airport if you’re traveling on those days! 

Passenger
Figure 1: Expected passenger volume departing from US airports over the 4th of July long weekend this year, in millions.

With rising delay and cancellation rates globally, many passengers are concerned about disruption to their trips this long weekend. On average 23% of flights in June have been delayed from departing US airports, an increase of 8% compared to June of 2019.  Despite this trend, delay rates have begun to improve in the last few days as a result of airlines proactively canceling flights they are unable to service on time ahead of the busy summer season. As a result, cancellations have risen 43% compared to June of 2019, but remain ~2.9% of all scheduled flights from the US. 

Delays
Figure 2: Average percent of all scheduled flights delayed departing from US airports.
Cancellations
Figure 3: Average percent of all scheduled flights canceled departing from US airports.

Busiest Airports

The busiest airports this fourth of July weekend will be Atlanta, Los Angeles, Denver and Dallas Fort Worth airports, with more than half of a million travelers expected to depart over the weekend. These airports are also seeing high flight disruption rates relative to the national average; travelers flying out of these airports should be prepared for potential disruptions on their trip. 

Busiest
Table 1: The 25 busiest US airports on the 4th of July weekend, based on the volume of scheduled departing passengers. Delay and cancellation rates based on the average for June as of June 21st.

How to prepare for disruption this 4th of July Weekend

  1. Add trip protection: For ~$25,Hopper allows travelers (both Hopper bookers as well as those who book elsewhere) to add Trip Protection, which covers flight delays, cancellations & missed connections. If you experience a disruption, you can rebook immediately on ANY carrier & get out on the next flight for free, or receive a refund. 

  2. If you haven’t booked yet, build in a buffer day: Particularly for big events or holidays, it’s always a good idea to add in an extra day or two to your travel plans, to ensure you can arrive at your destination on time (and with some wiggle room).

  3. Sign up for alerts: You’ll want to know about delays and cancellations as early as possible. On most U.S. carriers, passengers can sign up for text, email, and/or in-app notifications about any changes to their itinerary including delay and cancellations. Travelers using the Hopper app are also notified as soon as we are aware of any disruptions. 

  4. Cancel or Change plans with flexibility: Travelers seeking extra flexibility should take advantage of Cancel for Any Reason or Change for Any Reason on the Hopper app. There is no additional cost for the traveler, Hopper pays the difference to the airline if you make changes to your trip.

  5. Know what options you have available: Before you head to the airport, take a look at the schedule for departing flights for that day so you’re aware of other flight options, if you do get delayed or experience a cancellation. 

More about Hopper’s Trip Protection:  https://www.hopper.com/flight-disruption-guarantee 

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