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2021 Thanksgiving weather forecast update: how will the weather be?

For those taking the roads or the skies this evening or tomorrow, there are a few storms you should be aware of as they could impact your travel plans.

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2021 Thanksgiving weather forecast update: how will the weather be?
YUKI IWAMURA AFP

Across the US people are taking to the sky. The TSA saw more than double the number of people pass through its airport control points yesterday compared to the figures captured a year ago.

Luckily, the National Weather Service has reported that inclement weather should not complicate travel plans too much over the holiday. Earlier today, the organization tweeted that a cold front could bring "foul weather to the" eastern continental US but that and that "areas west of the Mississippi River, outside the Pacific Northwest, should experience a dry, but chilly Thanksgiving." 

How to avoid issues at the airport

When the pandemic hit the United States in March 2020, the airline industry nearly collapsed. Pretty immediately, the US Federal Reserve began to buy corporate bonds to keep companies from going bankrupt. Bloomberg has reported that nearly 400,000 workers in the airline industry were furloughed or laid off during the pandemic, and as demand slowly increases, airlines had to staff back up.

Many experts were extremely worried about the fragile state of the industry and its ability to handle the more than twenty-million travelers expected to take to the skies over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Like many airline companies, the TSA has also avoided hiring up to their pre-pandemic levels as demand has not reached the numbers seen in 2019.

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest days at US airports, more than 2,435,170 passed through a TSA checkpoint in 2019. In 2020, that number dropped to under a million, and this year reached 2,207,949. To avoid missing your flight and long lines, Robert Duffy, TSA’s Federal Security Director for LaGuardia Airport advised that travelers " arrive at the terminal two hours prior to their scheduled flight, because we expect to see a spike in the number of travelers during the Thanksgiving travel period." Duffy also reminded passengers that they should "come early and they arrive prepared to go through the security screening process. By that, I mean that they know what should and should not be packed in their carry-on bag and checked bags." 

Airline Cancellations

Yesterday, 109 flights were canceled, and more than 3,000 were delayed in the United States. On early on Thanksgiving Day, 25 November, forty flights had been canceled and more than 200 had been delayed.

Fortune reporter earlier this month that American Airlines has quietly canceled around twnety=percent of their flights for the second half of December. This could be because the company knows that it does not have the capacity to meet the high demand of the holiday season.

Which major US airline has canceled the most flights?

American Airlines

  • Cancellations:56
  • Delays: 479

United

  • Cancellations: 338
  • Delays: 12

Source: Flight Aware