Holiday Forecast: Fewer Fliers but Packed Flights With demand lower, airlines are offering fewer seats By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Nov 3, 2011 2:50 PM CDT 5 comments Comments Travelers at Chicago's O'Hare during the Thanksgiving rush of 2008. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) (Newser) – The good news for Thanksgiving travelers is that fewer people are expected to fly this year. The bad news is that your plane is still going to be jam-packed. An industry trade group predicts that 23.2 million people will fly in the 12 days around Thanksgiving, reports CNN. (The holiday period is defined as the 18th to the 29th.) That's down 2% from last year and amounts to about 37,000 fewer fliers per day. But while the airport might be a bit less congested, planes won't be. Because of the lower demand, airlines are cutting back on flights and offering fewer seats. If you're still planning, the busiest days are expected to be Sunday, Nov 27; Friday, Nov. 18; and Monday, Nov. 28, in that order. Thanksgiving Day itself should be the least busy, notes MSNBC. Click for tips on booking flights this year.