Chicago, Atlanta, LA airports expected to have worst Thanksgiving travel delays

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ATALNTA - NOVEMBER 27: Travelers work their way throught Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Sunday November 27, 2005. The Thanksgiving holiday is the nations busiest for travel. (Photo by Barry Williams/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — With more Americans hitting the road — and the skies — for the Thanksgiving holiday, travelers stuck at airports can expect longer lines and bigger headaches.

The busiest airport is expected to be Chicago O’Hare International Airport, followed by Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport, according to an analysis by the travel site Orbitz.com.

But the busiest airports don’t always cause the worst headaches.

For example, Chicago O’Hare, Newark Liberty in New Jersey and San Francisco International Airports have had the highest percentage of delayed flights during the Thanksgiving week over the last three years, according to a study by Airhelp, a website that helps passengers collect compensation for delayed, canceled and overbooked flights.

Los Angeles International Airport ranked sixth among airports with a high rate of delayed flights, Airhelp said.

Over the last three years, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Airlines has delayed nearly 40 percent of its departures during Thanksgiving week, the highest rate of any airline, Airhelp said. United Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines also ranked high in Thanksgiving delays.

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Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International is expected to be the least busy major airport during Thanksgiving holiday and Hawaiian Airlines has been ranked as having the lowest rate of delays for that holiday week.

In all, 48.7 million Americans will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, up 1.9 percent from a year earlier, according to AAA. Air travel is expected to rise 1.6 percent, as 3.69 million Americans fly to their holiday destinations.