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Which day are airports less busy: Saturday or Sunday?

Which day are airports less busy: Saturday or Sunday?

Old Jan 21st, 2009, 05:59 AM
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Which day are airports less busy: Saturday or Sunday?

Specifically, Dec 19 or 20, 2009. I'm ready to book our vacation, MIami-St Thomas, and I'd love to avoid the worst crowds if at all possible. (Husband is a reluctant traveller even at best, so anything that makes it easier is much to be desired.) I know that one can't always tell about these things. But I'm wondering if characteristically one of those days tends to be less crowded, i.e. the Saturday or the Sunday (before Christmas).

Thanks very much.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 09:18 AM
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I don't know MIA specifically, but you can expect many people to start the vacation on the 19th, and head for the airport on the Saturday morning.

Sunday afternoons are generally busy times at airports as travelers are returning home, or heading to meetings/work for Monday morning. But since it's so close to Christmas, there may not be a lot of those.

I think Sunday morning will be probably the least crowded at the airports.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 10:03 AM
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I have never been to MIA when it wasn't busy during the day and I have made numerous connections there.

Early mornings and late evenings are a different story.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 11:57 AM
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I would guess Sunday - if anyone is able to take the entire week off, they would leave Fri night or Sat. But actually, it is only a guess - I have no clue.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 12:14 PM
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Saturdays are always busy at MIA because of all the cruise ship and Caribbean resort passengers. Arriving earlier and departing later.

But being the weekend before Christmas I would expect both days (and the nearby ones, too) to be complete zoos.
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 12:21 PM
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Have no idea for the week before Xmas, however I also agree that usually everywhere saturday is busier than sunday. In the doubt, try on sunday the chance that it is better or the same, not worse !
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Thanks for all replies. We'll see if I'm fortunate enough even to be able to have the choice. (It's AAdvantage.)
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Old Jan 21st, 2009, 04:37 PM
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From what I can remember from what AA told me and having traveled well over a million miles...in general the days from most busy to least busy are as follows:

Sunday
Friday
Monday
Tuesday
Thursday or Wednesday
Saturday

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Old Jan 22nd, 2009, 12:01 PM
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saturday the least busy ?? I have the feeling it is the most busy !!

Once I was told by a DL guy that the least busy is usually wednsday.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2009, 05:00 PM
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Try flying business travel if you want busy days.

Saturday is a walk in a relatively empty park.

Getting home from a business trip on a Friday is like being packed in a sardine can. We're mostly premium FF passengers and pi**ed because we could not be upgraded.

Those business people that don't start a biz trip on Monday, do so on Tuesday.

Because so many people start domestic vacations on Sunday, I tend to book flights that are to Europe or SA either on Saturday or on Thursday.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 05:43 AM
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I would think Saturday evening or Sunday morning are the least busy times of the week, on average. However, that close to Christmas, all bets are off.

I will offer, though, that I wouldn't make too much of the crowds. Sure, there are a lot of people around but you are still only talking about an hour or two spent at the airport.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 07:54 AM
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There are fewer flights on Saturdays than the other days of the week. Some routes have no flights on Saturday.

Sunday afternoons and particularly the evening are busy at most airports. There are more flights and the flights are more full.

Two reasons:

Many people are traveling for the weekend and this is the end of their trip. This also applies to many folks with longer leisure trips - they have to be back to work Monday morning.

At the same time, business travelers are departing to be at meetings, contract work, or training on Monday morning.

If you look at the cheap last minute deals on Travelocity, you will see that the lowest fares are often for Saturday departure, or for a very early morning return on Sunday.

Keith
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Old Jan 23rd, 2009, 03:11 PM
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I used to think that Saturday/Sunday would be quiet days at the airport - boy was I wrong. I guess it depends on your definition of busy.

M-F there is a lot more business travelers. This also includes Sun PM. Sat/Sun you might not have as many business travelers, or as many total people, but I find that families going on vacation add a lot to the commotion. Four business travelers will each get through security quickly, and sit inconspicuously by the gate. A family of 4 may have stroller, kids, diaper bag, so you'll most likely know they're there whether you want to or not.

A holiday period Dec 19 or 20 all bets are off. Statistically there may be one day that's slower than another but you have a lot of potential for crowds but those stats are meaningless. It's a holiday - lots of people want to get where they're going. Flights on any day will fill up, so people will choose the best that's avail, regardless of day. Bad weather. If there are delays anywhere in the country on Thu or Fri, then there will still be stranded crowds Sat/Sun. Packages, big suitcases, etc. Most people will be traveling with extra goodies.

All these things will add up, so just pick the days you want to travel. Try to get a non-stop if you can, and leave plenty of room for contingency plans.
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