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Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (here, on a quieter day) tops our list ofbusiest Thanksgiving airports. Photo: Flickr

Brace yourselves, holiday travelers: Orbitz has released a list of the top 10 busiest airports this Thanksgiving. Chicago’s O’Hare ranks as the No. 1 most traveled airport during the weekend with LAX, San Francisco, New York LaGuardia and Boston Logan rounding out the Top 5. (See the full list below.) If you’re planning on heading to or from any of these cities, make sure you are prepared for long waits at check-in and security.

Top 10 Busiest Airports for Thanksgiving 2012

Chicago O’Hare International (ORD) Chicago, IL
Los Angeles International (LAX) Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco International (SFO) San Francisco, CA
New York LaGuardia (LGA) New York, NY
Boston Logan International (BOS) Boston, MA
John F. Kennedy International (JFK) New York, NY
Orlando International (MCO) Orlando, FL
Denver International (DEN) Denver, CO
Ronald Reagan National (DCA) Washington, DC
Fort Lauderdale International (FLL) Fort Lauderdale, FL

Some airports actually have less traffic
Can’t handle the stress? For anyone with family in the following cities, take a breath: We’ve also tallied the least busy airports during Thanksgiving weekend.

Buffalo Niagara International (BFF) Buffalo, NY
Jacksonville International (JAX) Jacksonville, FL
Nashville International (BNA) Nashville, TN
Sacramento International (SMF) Sacramento, CA
Bradley International (BDL) Hartford, CT
Palm Beach International (PBI) Palm Beach, FL
Cleveland Hopkins International (CLE) Cleveland, OH
John Wayne Airport (SNA) Santa Ana, CA
San Antonio International (SAT) San Antonio, TX
Salt Lake City International (SLC) Salt Lake City, UT

Avoid those peak travel periods
We’ve also crunched some numbers to determine exactly when travelers will be flying over the holiday. As expected, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will bethe peak departure day and will see more than twice as many flyers as on Thanksgiving Day itself. On the return side, it will be 16 percent busier to fly back on Sunday (November 25th) versus heading home on Monday (November 26th).

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Orbitz Travel Blog Editors

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