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Delta Thanksgiving 2020 Operational Issues

Delta Thanksgiving 2020 Operational Issues

Old Nov 24, 20, 1:05 am
  #1  
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Delta Thanksgiving 2020 Operational Issues

It is my opinion that, contrary to all the advice that is out there on the various news channels, it is going to be very safe to fly on Thanksgiving Day. That is because it appears that very few people will be doing so this year.

My adult daughter and her family recently relocated to the western suburbs of Cleveland from Chicago, and Mrs. ND76 and I are going to fly there this year. We've driven up there twice already this year (about a 6.5 hour drive from our home each way).

On the 6 am IAD-DTW, the Delta app is showing 59 empty seats (I think the capacity is 76), and on the 8:55 DTW-CLE the Delta app is showing 50 empties (same capacity).

This will be the first time I've flown in and out of CLE on Delta. I've been through there numerous times over the decades, starting in 1971, arriving on North Central (the "Blue Goose") from MKG (with intermediate stops at LAN and DTW) and continuing on United to DCA (my first time traveling on my own, at age 16). I've also been at CLE on TWA, Continental and Southwest. This also marks the 100th domestic airport that I've traveled to or from on Delta (my first flight on Delta was DCA-MSY with a stop at ATL in 1981).
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Old Nov 24, 20, 1:11 am
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Thanksgiving day itself is normally a very lite travel day. Most airlines operate fewer flights on it.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 5:59 am
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Agree - I've flown on Thanksgiving day for the last 7 years, very light travel day - I wouldn't expect that to change this year. However since Sunday, passenger traffic has been up vs the previous weeks. See link below for numbers.

https://www.tsa.gov/coronavirus/passenger-throughput
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Old Nov 24, 20, 7:37 am
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Becareful of the "Open Seats" on the website. As BE flyers check in, the count can go down quickly.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 7:47 am
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I'm flying the day before (Wed) and Sat and my flight loads look VERY light as well.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 7:58 am
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It's ordinarily the Wednesday before (tomorrow) and the Sunday after Thanksgiving that are extremely busy.

Thanksgiving Day itself tends to be one of the lighter travel days.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 8:29 am
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I'm flying DFW-EYW Thursday. Flight I believe is zeroed out.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 8:38 am
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I've flown thanksgiving day many times and flights are always empty. This year I am flying black friday.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
I'm flying DFW-EYW Thursday. Flight I believe is zeroed out.
EYW and CLE are comparable destinztions
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Old Nov 24, 20, 8:59 am
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I've been looking for light travel days during the holiday season too (seat map on NYE flights looked pretty bare so I booked that). But as TurfGuy pointed out that can be very misleading. Thanksgiving Day is a historically light travel day though so it's a good strategy.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
It's ordinarily the Wednesday before (tomorrow) and the Sunday after Thanksgiving that are extremely busy.

Thanksgiving Day itself tends to be one of the lighter travel days.
That's the traditional wisdom, but people (including college students) are increasingly making Turkey Day into more than a four day holiday weekend, with many traveling as early as the Thursday or Friday before the day (November 19th or 20th this year), more over the weekend, and then still more at the beginning of this week. Sunday remains the big day to return home for most people, although there can be differences in places where hunting season starts around then.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
That's the traditional wisdom, but people (including college students) are increasingly making Turkey Day into more than a four day holiday weekend, with many traveling as early as the Thursday or Friday before the day (November 19th or 20th this year), more over the weekend, and then still more at the beginning of this week. Sunday remains the big day to return home for most people, although there can be differences in places where hunting season starts around then.
Right, but that doesn't change that Thanksgiving day itself is generally very slow. It, Christmas Day, and day after Christmas are typically the slowest days for travel. I remember two years ago flying AA LAX-JFK to connect with Qatar. There was only three total people to upgrade to business. In fact as there was zero in F and zero paid in J (only us three upgrades) they upgraded all three of us into F. I think Y had maybe 10 people. 13 people total for LAX-JFK.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 9:57 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Right, but that doesn't change that Thanksgiving day itself is generally very slow. It, Christmas Day, and day after Christmas are typically the slowest days for travel. I remember two years ago flying AA LAX-JFK to connect with Qatar. There was only three total people to upgrade to business. In fact as there was zero in F and zero paid in J (only us three upgrades) they upgraded all three of us into F. I think Y had maybe 10 people. 13 people total for LAX-JFK.
I flew to JFK>LHR once on Thanksgiving night. Only 10 people. They did not cancel the flight as the return was full.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 9:57 am
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We've caught the red-eye flights many times on Thanksgiving morning and it's always been light. I have some family that plan travels on Christmas morning and hop on a flight to whatever beach destination they pick and send me pictures of a near-empty plane. Actually not a bad idea to wake your kids up on Christmas morning, surprise them with a flight to Hawaii for a week or so.
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Old Nov 24, 20, 10:02 am
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In recent years, DL has been cancelling a lot of international flights around major holidays. The remaining ones aren't as empty (or filled with non revs) as they once were.
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