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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

SFO Greets Thanksgiving Travelers With Frustrating Delays

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Happy Holidays
  • Happy Holidays

In addition to painful delays due to the rain, a record number of air travelers are expected to pass through San Francisco Airport this Thanksgiving season.

It's no surprise we're seeing more travelers pass through San Francisco; a recent report by AAA says more people are traveling nationwide. This holiday weekend alone, SFO is expected to welcome a record 1.2 million people, an uptick of 3 percent. That's the ninth

straight year of increased traffic.

"We're ready to meet and greet," says Dan I'nnocenti, airport duty


See also: San Francisco Will Have the Worst Thanksgiving Traffic in the Nation

Don't eat your turkey before it's cooked, though.

The Daily Beast recently ranked SFO as the second worst airport in the nation for flight delays, behind New Jersey's Newark Liberty. The news site gave the airport an on-time departure rating of 75 percent. Hey, that's faster than the Muni ride you'll have to take to get to the airport.

As many of you early travelers have already experienced, that on-time performance got even worse as of late, dropping to 69 percent, thanks to the windy weather, says I'nnocenti. Since planes must take off facing into the wind (note: watch Top Gun), stormy conditions sometimes force a change in the direction of takeoff. It's this that's caused traffic snafus at Oakland and San Jose airports, where the number of take-offs have been cut in half, resulting in irritating delays.

To keeps passengers from absolutely losing it while they wait, the airport has hired musicians to play in the terminal during the holiday season, because more Christmas music is just what tired travelers need.

So if you are headed out today, good luck. But don't worry, it should be dry and sunny by the time you return on Sunday. Just to be sure check out the FAA's flight delay website for up-to-date information before you leave.

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Coburn Palmer


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