Last updated: 11:11 AM ET, Thu November 03 2016

REPORT: Flight Cancellations More Common During Thanksgiving, Christmas

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | November 03, 2016

REPORT: Flight Cancellations More Common During Thanksgiving, Christmas

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A new report released Thursday by Milecards.com revealed that airline delays and cancellations around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are more frequent than other times of the year.

The study from Milecards.com indicates that one of the biggest culprits behind the holiday delays and cancellations was regional airlines serving routes to smaller cities. The research found cancellation rates of flights from regional airlines are three times higher than larger airlines.

Using the last five years of air travel data provided by the United States Department of Transportation, the report found that weather was the biggest cause of cancellations. With airlines choosing to cancel regional flights first in order to impact fewer passengers, travelers living in smaller cities are more often dealing with the holiday travel headaches.

To help travelers thinking about flying during the 2016 holiday season, Milecards.com has provided tips and advice to know when planning your trip.

First, the study’s findings indicate Christmas flights are canceled five times as much as Thanksgiving flights—2.4 percent for Christmas and just 0.4 percent for Thanksgiving—and Dec. 26 and 27 are the two worst days for cancellations.

As for airports themselves, New York and Chicago have the most holiday cancellations and Honolulu, Oakland and Seattle have the fewest.

For those who must travel during Christmas and Thanksgiving, Milecards.com advises passengers to know whether or not their carrier is regional, ask their airline about how to rebook if their flights are delayed or canceled and have the guts to keep fighting for a new itinerary that fits your needs.

As always, planning ahead is the key to avoiding delays and cancellations, but bad weather can impact anyone. Knowing the rules of the airline travelers are using and avoiding smaller airlines during the holidays can help nip trouble in the bud.

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