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New figures show 51 million travelers predicted to fly on US airlines this holiday season

About 51 million travelers are expected to fly US airlines this holiday season

It's going to be elbow to elbow at airports across the US, as 51 million travelers are expected to fly globally on US airlines during the holiday season over the next few weeks. 

According to Airlines for America, air travel on American airlines is poised to spike nearly four percent this winter, from 49.3 million in 2016. 

That means an additional 80,000 daily passengers are predicted to take to the skies this year compared to last year. 

The figures are for a 21-day winter holiday travel period from Friday, Dec. 15 to Thursday, Jan. 4. 

Meanwhile, the busiest travel days throughout the period include Thursday Dec. 21, Friday, Dec. 22 and Tuesday, Dec. 26, which are forecast to see upwards of 2.7 million passengers each day. 

The lightest travel days include Sat. Dec. 16, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, when the number of air travelers could dip below 2 million. 

Airlines for America advocates on behalf of the American airline industry.