Skip to main content

Stacking up holiday travel: Busy airport, not-so-busy rest stops


Don't say we didn't warn you. Airline passengers in the Midwest and West Coast will see the largest crowds this Thanksgiving, according to data from Orbitz.

Minneapolis-St Paul International is picked to be the tenth busiest airport in the nation, according to the Orbitz Insider Index, which analyzed Thanksgiving week booking data from the 50 biggest airports.

Los Angeles International (LAX) and Chicago O’Hare International (ORD) airports took the top two spots as busiest destinations. Forbes says 23.7 million passengers will travel over the 12-day busy period surrounding Thanksgiving, up 150,000 from last year.

Minnesota motorists driving to grandma's won't have to fight crowds at local comfort stops. Foursquare compiled a list of the USA's busiest rest stops by region. USA Today says the lists are based on check-in reports from holiday road trippers from last year, with data collected between November 20-25, 2012. (Really, people? You checked in from bathrooms?)

The top ten busiest rest stops in the Midwest include not a single one located in Minnesota. But the TravelCenters of America in Walcott, Iowa (on I-80 near the Quad Cities) is second on the list, and the Mars Cheese Castle Kenosha, Wis. (on I-94) is tenth. So be prepared to wait if you roll in there.

Next Up

Gopher Basketball

Michigan State hands Gophers first loss

The 19th ranked Spartans knocked Minnesota from the ranks of the unbeaten.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Chris Finch

Patrick Beverley returns but Jazz rout Timberwolves

The Jazz avenged last season's 0-3 record with a blowout victory.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings-Steelers: 5 things you can count on

After an embarrassing loss to the Lions, can the Vikings get it together?

snow, snowing

Winter storm watch expands north, includes parts of Twin Cities

Everyone in southern Minnesota will want to keep an eye on forecast changes.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

5-year-old boy fatally shot on Thanksgiving identified

Police said a few juveniles at the home were making a social media video when the gun went off.

PAMP travail 1

Pig Ate My Pizza will close at the end of the year.

Its leaders plan to relaunch and "get back to the humble beginnings of Travail."

flickr - criticla care nurses nov 2021

Allina parts ways with 53 of 27,000 employees over vaccine mandate

That's about 0.2% of the health care system's workforce.

US Bank Stadium, Vikings fans

Matthew Coller: How will Vikings fans react on Thursday night?

Will years of disappointment be revealed if the Vikings struggle against the Steelers?

dinner party holidays gathering celebration 1

Health officials encourage getting vaccinated and tested before the holidays

The state has launched a "Celebrate Safely, Minnesota" campaign to make it easier to get tested and vaccinated.

Kjellberg booking photo crop

Charges: Parking dispute, scuffle preceded fatal stabbing

The suspect said he was upset about neighbors and their friends regularly parking on his property.

Dave Hutchinson

Hennepin Co. Sheriff injured in rollover, admits to drinking beforehand

The sheriff, in a statement, called it an "inexcusable decision."

CDC - vaccine band aid

COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in MN dominated by unvaccinated

The latest figures from October show a disproportionate number of deaths among the unvaccinated.