Last updated: 11:17 AM ET, Fri November 04 2016

REPORT: Airlines Expect 2.5 Percent Rise in Thanksgiving Travel in 2016

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | November 04, 2016

REPORT: Airlines Expect 2.5 Percent Rise in Thanksgiving Travel in 2016

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On Wednesday, the Airlines for America trade group announced that recent findings suggest the number of people traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday will rise 2.5 percent in 2016.

In total, the trade group believes 27.3 million passengers will fly on airlines in the United States over the 12-day period between Nov. 18 and the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

According to The Associated Press, the airlines aren’t as fearful of the huge increase as they would have been in years prior due to a rise in signups for the TSA PreCheck program. The Transportation Security Administration announced nearly four million people are enrolled in PreCheck, which is up from the 1.75 million participants a year ago.

Another five million travelers are enrolled in other programs including Global Entry, a program run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In addition, the TSA has also added staff to the busiest airports and continues to encourage people to sign up for PreCheck.

READ MORE: “REPORT: Flight Cancellations More Common During Thanksgiving, Christmas

“The doubled enrollment in expedited-screening programs from one year ago gives us great reason for optimism about how smooth the process will be,” Airlines for America chief economist John Heimlich said in a statement. “We're confident, I think, the bigger wild card is weather.”

Officials from Airlines for America said they believe the busiest travel days will be the Wednesday before and the Sunday and Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, with airlines expecting about 55,000 more passengers per day.

The airline trade group also shared financial data, including the top nine airlines in the U.S. reporting a combined pretax profit of $18.3 billion, which is down from $18.7 billion in the same period last year.

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