Dallas: With U.S. internal flights predicted to be 90% full and airports crammed to capacity, stressed travelers seeking a little peace and relaxation in airport VIP lounges this Thanksgiving may want to take their seats a little earlier – particularly in Philadelphia and Phoenix.
According to Priority Pass, the world’s leading airport VIP lounge access program, U.S. airport VIP lounges are expected to be 24% busier over the Thanksgiving holiday season this year. Last year, the company’s partner lounges recorded a 23% increase in traffic during November 2011 with the five days following Thanksgiving being the busiest.
This year, with Airlines for American predicting that 24 million people will use air travel this Thanksgiving and with AAA expecting a 0.7% increase in Thanksgiving travelers compared to last year, airport VIP lounges are sure to see a significant uptick in usage throughout the month.
According to Orbitz, this year the five busiest airports over Thanksgiving are predicted to be:
1 Chicago O’Hare
2 Los Angeles International
3 San Francisco International
4 New York LaGuardia
5 Boston Logan International
However, according to Priority Pass, the lounges which experienced the largest increases in traffic were not in the nation’s busiest airports. Last year’s biggest increase in Priority Pass Thanksgiving VIP lounge access occurred in Phoenix, which reported a 69% uptick in usage in November. With Phoenix serving as a hub for travelers flying to resorts in Mexico and Hawaii, lounge usage seems most prevalent among those using the holiday weekend to head to warmer climates.
Following last year’s increase in holiday lounge traffic, several lounges this year have decided to specifically cater to their Thanksgiving customers by offering themed food and decorations. In a Los Angeles lounge, pumpkin pie and cranberries have been added to the complimentary buffet.
Terry Evans, President at Priority Pass commented: “Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for airport travel given the sheer volume of people on the move, so we’re pleased that our Priority Pass members can take advantage of our lounges to make their journeys more relaxing and enjoyable.”
Priority Pass offers access to an extensive network of airport VIP lounges in the U.S. – the largest of any independent provider.