MIAMI – It’s going to be busy in Atlanta and other Delta Air Lines (DL) hubs. In a press release today, DL said that it expects to see up to 5.6 million passengers during the US Thanksgiving holiday period running November 19 to 30.

The airline says this represents a threefold increase over the passenger load seen during the pandemic in 2020.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving is likely to be the busiest travel day as folks travel home to return to work on Monday the 29th.

To accommodate the increased business, DL has increased staffing. Additional customer service agents, reservations personnel and newly-graduated flight attendants will be on duty.

In addition to heavy domestic travel, DL has seen a 450% increase in international bookings since the reopening of the US border on November 8. Many such flights will be operating at high load percentages during the holiday season.

Delta Air Lines Boeing 737-932ER N865DN – Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Preview for Christmas

But the Thanksgiving load is just a preview of what DL expects over the Christmas holiday that runs from December 17 to January 3. The airline is expecting up to 9 million passengers — an average of 490,000 a day.

“This will be a special holiday season for many customers who are reconnecting with family for the first time since before the pandemic began,” said Allison Ausband, E.V.P. and Chief Customer Experience Officer. “We look forward to showing them the Delta Difference that sets us apart – the care, dedication and world-class service our people are known for day in and day out.”

Featured image: Delta Air Lines N123DQ Airbus A220-100. Photo: Michael Rodeback/Airways