Delta Soars Into Thanksgiving Building on Strong Operations

Nov. 21, 2023

Delta is soaring into the Thanksgiving travel period on the tails of the airline’s strong operational performance over the past six weeks, ready to carry more than 6 million passengers for one of the most important U.S. holidays of the year. 

Official Delta estimates put the total estimated customer count between 6.2 million and 6.4 million from Friday, Nov. 17-Tuesday, Nov. 28 – averaging 515,000-530,000 customers a day.  

“We know how important this holiday is,” said Matt Sparks, S.V.P. - OCC & Ops Analytics. “This is a valuable time that folks like to spend with their family, friends and loved ones, and we want to make sure we get you there on time and get you back home safely again.”

As always, customers are encouraged to arrive at the airport at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international. Additional time may be required on Friday, Nov. 17, and the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26-27) – all expected to be the peak travel periods of the season. 

Delta’s Operations and Customer Center serves as the airline’s “mission control” for more than 4,000 flights a day – staffed 24/7 and constantly communicating with crews and frontline teams to ensure the most seamless, safe and on-time service possible, even through high volume and weather challenges. Among many other functions, the OCC maintains its own meteorology team, constantly monitoring forecasts for weather and turbulence and working with other Delta experts around the clock to adjust flight plans and schedules as necessary. 

“In addition to monitoring the weather conditions and everything that we’re up against, this team here is working directly with the FAA and all of their air traffic control programs and figuring out how we navigate the system,” Sparks said. “We also have representatives from all over the airline, from our airports, maintenance, and reservations, so they can handle situations in real time and make sure that we get the quickest resolution for our customers and keep the operation moving.”