Labor Day Travel: Quick Statistics You Should Know to Mentally Prepare for This Hectic Weekend

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Labor day weekend is almost here!  The last hurrah before the warm summer air is put on ice.

Some of you fortunate folks may be starting your long weekend tonight.  And depending on the dates, times, and routes you’re traveling, you’re likely in for a weekend of traffic, flight delays, and unbearable crowds.  So you’ll want to be armed with a credit card that has built in trip delay or cancellation benefits.

RewardExpert has compiled 5 years of historical data to help folks know exactly what to expect during their upcoming Labor Day travel.

Labor Day Is One of the MOST Popular Holidays for Travel

Brace Yourself for the Busiest Labor Day Weekend Ever

Over 16 million travelers are projected to be in the air this weekend.  So you KNOW there’s gonna be a hiccup or two.

The worst days for flight delays have previously been the Friday before and the Tuesday following Labor Day (August 31 and September 4, 2018).  The Tuesday following is a bit of a surprise to me.  Everyone I know travels home Monday to be at work the next day.

You’re most likely to avoid delays if you’re heading to Dallas, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Honolulu.  Honolulu has a record of better than 90% on-time performance for this weekend!  So you can inform your family that to receive the highest odds of a successful Labor Day weekend, everyone should meet in Hawaii next year.

If you’re heading to or from Boston, Newark, LaGuardia, New Orleans, or San Francisco, you might want to temper your expectations for an on-time flight.  On-time percentages are as low as ~77%.

Another large factor in delays (and one that’s easier to control!) is the airline you choose.  Alaska Airlines and Delta are the most reliable airlines, both with on-time percentages near 90%.

Alleviate the Airport Headaches With TSA PreCheck

With TSA PreCheck, you can pass through security without taking off your shoes, belt, or light jacket.  You also won’t need to remove your laptop and liquids from your bag!  This helps the security line to progress much faster.

And because TSA PreCheck is still relatively exclusive (~7 million members), the lines are generally much shorter than the regular TSA security line.

TSA PreCheck costs $85 for a 5-year membership.  But there are plenty of ways to get TSA PreCheck for free!  Several cards will reimburse the price of your TSA PreCheck application, including:

  • The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
  • United℠ Explorer Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve

Let me know your strategies to avoiding travel headaches this weekend!

Never miss the best deals again!  Always check our Hot Deals page for an easy-to-digest list of the top rewards card offers!

Hat Tip:   Travel +Leisure

Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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