Because my family lives in Atlanta, I am no stranger to traveling on some of the busiest days of the year. I wrote recently about traveling on Christmas (which I almost always do), but I also almost always leave town for Thanksgiving as well. I'm pretty much an expert on flying during the busiest travel days of the year, so here are my best tips. 1. Fly out early in the morning - Flying out early in the morning almost guarantees that you won't have a delay. I always opt for the first flight home during Thanksgiving.
2. Leave on the Saturday after Thanksgiving- Sunday is by far the busiest travel day of the year. I always try and plan to leave Saturday night. It is much less crowded and you won't have to deal with as long of lines.
3. Don't check your bag- If you were ever going to not check a bag, this is the time. Carry on so you won't have to worry about having your luggage.
4. Buy early bird check in- This only applies on Southwest, but I always recommend buying early bird check in for Thanksgiving travel. That way you are guaranteed to get your bag in the overhead bin and you don't have to worry about remembering to check in while you are hanging with your family.
Plan ahead and you can enjoy a great Thanksgiving holiday, even if you have to travel!