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Tips for getting on that flight before next Christmas

This story appears in the November 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The holiday travel season is here, and this one promises to be like no other. In addition to the usual stress of waiting in long lines at the airport, navigating through crowds of tourists in the terminals and sitting through weather-related delays, you'll have to factor in increased security measures in the wake of September's terrorist attacks. The Federal Aviation Administration's new safety directives (still being finalized at press time) could mean your trip will take even longer than it would have in years past.

The best way to ease the hassle of holiday travel is by timing it correctly. The days before a major holiday are always the busiest. However, on the holiday itself-in the eye of the proverbial hurricane-traffic is often manageable and flights are practically empty. According to the Air Transport Association, the least busy days for air travel during the holiday season are December 24, 25 and 31. And while the Friday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are among the busiest days of the year for air travel, Thanksgiving itself is one of the slowest.

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