With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching and travel demand continuing to soar, Delta anticipates the airline will carry nearly 6 million customers from Nov. 18-29, averaging close to 500,000 customers per day.
Delta’s peak travel days are expected to be the Friday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 18) and the Sunday following the holiday (Nov. 27). This year’s estimate falls just shy of the 6.3 million customers who traveled during the same period in 2019.
Over the past several months, Delta has taken meaningful and significant steps to stabilize the operation and provide its customers with the premium experience they expect. These decisions include right-sizing the airline’s schedule, adding buffer time in crew scheduling, increasing boarding time, and focusing on hiring and training Delta’s workforce. These measures continue to have a positive and direct impact on Delta’s operation and will ensure a reliable holiday travel experience. In fact, in the months leading up to Thanksgiving – September, October and November to date – Delta has completed more than 99% of scheduled flights.
“The holidays are all about connecting with loved ones, and after two years of disruption and unknowns, those connections are more important than ever,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “Thanks to the hard work of our more than 80,000 people around the globe, Delta customers can expect the very best service and industry-leading reliability as they reconnect this holiday season. Our teams are ready to serve."
Earlier this week, Bastian also shared his thoughts on the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday travel period with NBC’s Hoda Kotb, clearly stating that Delta is ready! Watch Bastian’s full NBC interview.
For those taking to the skies this Thanksgiving holiday, take a look at the key info below to make your journey a smooth one.
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Check your carry-on in the airport lobby
At certain airports, customers will have the opportunity to voluntarily check their carry-on bag free of charge in the lobby for full flights (rather than having to potentially check it at the gate if overhead bin space is limited). At the check-in kiosk at the airport, you may be asked if you would like the option to check your carry-on early, allowing you to enjoy a lighter journey through the airport and a speedier boarding and departure experience.
Upon arrival to your destination, Delta is committed to delivering your bag to the carousel in 20 minutes or less for domestic operated flights. Tip: Remember to take anything you might need on the plane, like phones or medication, out of your checked carry-on first. Lithium batteries are prohibited in checked baggage.
Turn your coffee order into SkyMiles® through Delta’s partnership with Starbucks
Thanks to Delta’s recent partnership with Starbucks, customers enrolled in both Delta SkyMiles and Starbucks® Rewards can link their accounts to earn miles on eligible Starbucks purchases, and double Stars on eligible purchases at participating Starbucks stores on days when they have a scheduled Delta flight. Don’t have a Starbucks Rewards or Delta SkyMiles account? Signing up is easy – plus, if you link your accounts before Dec. 31, you’ll earn 500 bonus miles and 150 Stars upon your first qualifying purchase.
Remember the basics to avoid unnecessary stress
There are tried and true tips that make the experience smoother for travel anytime, and especially during a holiday period:
- Download and use the Fly Delta app to get up-to-the-minute flight alerts, access your mobile boarding pass, track your checked bags and more.
- Arrive at least two hours before a domestic flight departs, and three hours before an international flight leaves, to ensure you have enough time to get through TSA security. Special assistance on Delta such as a wheelchair can be requested at the time of booking, through the Fly Delta app, or by contacting customer service. For special assistance with TSA, contact TSA Cares at least 24 hours before traveling.
- Use the self-tagging kiosks for your checked bags at Delta’s airport lobbies to speed up the check-in process.
Additional resources for your journey can be found in Delta's Customer Guide.