Press Releases

Travelers Have Reason to Be Thankful; They Experienced Their Best Thanksgiving Travel Weekend in Recent Years

With Relative Ease and Good Weather Around the Country, Most Airport Travelers Say, 'Wait - what wait?'

Dec 1, 2003

Just two years after the hour- long lines that dominated post 9/11 travel, it seems that travelers and the Transportation Security Administration have the routine down pat. Wait times from curbside through to security, tracked on the hour by Travelocity representatives, on the whole went against the grain for what is usually expected during the holiday travel crush. At airports around the country, monitored by Travelocity, average wait times were consistently below 20 minutes from the curb drop-off all the way through security.

Dedicated to informing travelers, Travelocity(R) stationed people at 25 of the nation's busiest airports for the third year in a row to monitor security waits and ticket counter lines on two of the busiest travel days of the year, the Wednesday before and the Sunday following Thanksgiving (Nov. 26 and 30).

"Thanksgiving is the kick-off to the holiday travel season and can serve as a measure for what's in store for the busy travel days ahead. Based on travels during the Thanksgiving weekend, it looks like travelers' wishes have been granted this year as wait times were kept to a minimum," said Travelocity Editor-at-Large, Amy Ziff. "Our airport watchers reported seeing relatively few delays at the nation's 25 busiest airports. In fact, some of the longest wait times reported were at coffee bars, not security areas. Of course there were places where wait times and delays spiked, but those were the exception, not the rule.

"Even with the Transportation Security Administration's new policies and reduced staffing everyone kept pace," Ziff continued. "Travelers came to the airport with everything from surfboards to microwaves, but they now know the rules about what to check and what to carry with them. This looks like a very good start to what is expected to be a robust holiday travel season."

Here are the observations made by Travelocity representatives stationed at 25 of the nation's busiest airports:

   Wednesday, November 26th longest average waits from curbside through
   to security were found at:
     * Atlanta: 30 minutes
     * Washington Dulles: 30 minutes
     * Cleveland: 25 minutes

   Wednesday, November 26th shortest average waits from curbside through
   to security were found at:
     * Dallas/Fort Worth: 10 minutes
     * Houston Bush Intercontinental: 10 minutes
     * Baltimore, Washington National, Boston, Chicago Midway, Denver,
       Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Jose, Seattle: all 15 minutes

   Sunday, November 30th longest average waits from curbside through
   to security were found at:
     * Washington Dulles: 30 minutes
     * Miami: 28 minutes
     * Orlando: 27 minutes

   Sunday, November 30th shortest average waits from curbside through
   to security were found at:
     * San Jose: 10.5 minutes
     * Chicago O'Hare: 10.6 minutes
     * Chicago Midway: 11 minutes

   Additional results:
     * Some of the longest lines spotted were for coffee and other
       concessions inside the terminals.  The good news was with smooth
       sailing through the airport, people had plenty of time to pick up
       that cup of java or burger to go.
     * Parking for the holiday filled up quickly.  By 9 a.m. many airports
       were running low on space at their long-term parking lots.
     * Some airports provided special holiday programming to entertain and
       relax travelers:
         -- The Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago Midway airports had musical
         -- At LaGuardia there was an elf doing face painting and making
            balloon animals.
         -- At San Jose magicians entertained passengers.
         -- At Dallas/Fort Worth the holiday helper staff also gave out
            treats like popcorn, candy, soda and more.

In addition to providing the airport information, Travelocity's Eye On The Sky, Rally Caparas, reported that air traffic made travel conditions excellent in most airports around the country. His information is uniquely found on Travelocity and can be especially useful for holiday travelers.

About Travelocity

Travelocity, a Sabre Holdings(TM) company, pioneered the online travel space and continues to be the most popular travel service on the Web, giving consumers access to hundreds of airlines, thousands of hotels and cruise, last-minute and vacations packages, and best-in-class car rental companies, all backed by 1,000 customer service representatives staffed to provide 24-hour assistance. With 41 million members, Travelocity is the sixth largest travel agency in the United States. It has been recognized worldwide for its leadership in the online travel space, and it operates or powers Web sites in five languages across four continents. Additional information about Travelocity can be found on the Web at .

Sabre Holdings Corporation is a world leader in travel commerce, retailing travel products and providing distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry. More information about Sabre Holdings is available at .

   Judy Haveson (
   Amanda Borichevsky (

SOURCE: Travelocity

CONTACT: Judy Haveson, +1-212-554-7425, or , or
Amanda Borichevsky +1-972-448-4790, or, both of Vollmer,
for Travelocity