NOVEMBER 14, 2022 -- Online gambling company BetUS.com (pronounced Bet U.S.) says it is hoping to start a new Thanksgiving tradition: betting on flight cancelations and delays.
With barely more than a week until Thanksgiving, millions of Americans are busy with last-minute planning and booking of their holiday week travel. A report on November 1st stated that nearly 25 million fliers are expected to depart on flights from US airports during the Thanksgiving travel week, which spans from Monday 11/21 to Sunday, 11/27, surpassing pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
Airports are struggling to add sufficient staff; airlines continue to face a shortage of pilots, ground crew and other essential workers; forecasts of extreme winter weather; and even a shortage of aircraft due to supply chain problems at Boeing and Airbus are just some of the reasons that industry executives are warning travelers to expect the unexpected and prepare for flight delays and cancellations that could make history.
And while travel demand has never been higher, the potential for chaos will no doubt lead some Americans to decide it better to sit this holiday season out at home.
And for those that do, there could be the start of a new Thanksgiving tradition in the works: gambling on others’ travel woes.
Now, you can bet on Thanksgiving Week travel chaos from the comfort of home – including which airline or airport will cancel the most flights or have the most delays. You can even bet an over/under on the total number of canceled flights as easily as you can bet the over/under on the total points scored on the Thanksgiving football games. We began offering the odds for the first time this year. This is an industry first, and a great entertainment option for those who choose to stay home. In fact, we’re hoping to start a new Thanksgiving tradition here,Barry Barger, senior betting analyst at BetUS Sportsbook
Alaska Airlines is the odds-on favorite to suffer the most flight cancellations this Thanksgiving week, according to BetUS.com oddsmakers. At +200 odds (2:1) a $100 bet at BetUS on Alaska Airlines to suffer the most cancellations would result in a net profit of $200 to the bettor (as well as the return of the $100 stake).
Rounding out the top five are Frontier Airlines (2.75:1), United Airlines (3.5:1); Delta Airlines (4.5:1), and Southwest Airlines (4.5:1) are tied in fourth place.
Spirit Airlines (set to be taken over by JetBlue no later than the first half of 2024), ranks fifth place in the odds for the airline to suffer the most cancellations, at 6.5:1 odds. The least likely to suffer cancellations are American Airlines and JetBlue, at 7.5:1 and 9:1 odds, respectively.
In terms of potential delays, JetBlue and Frontier customers should provide for the most extra time in reaching their destinations, if BetUS oddsmakers are correct. JetBlue is first place in the odds for the most delays at 1.5:1, followed by Frontier at 1.75:1. Meanwhile, United and Alaska are tied at 3:1; followed by Southwest (4:1) and Spirit (4.5:1). American and Delta are predicted to be the least likely to face delays, according to BetUS oddsmakers, with odds of 5:1 and 7:1 respectively.
Flight delays aren’t always the airlines’ fault, of course. Certain airports seem to have more delays than others, and BetUS oddsmakers have betting options on which airports will suffer the greatest percentage of their flights delayed as well.
Leading the list of airports most likely to suffer the most delays? LAX at 1.5:1 odds, followed closely by San Francisco International (SFO) at 1.75:1 odds. In the middle of the pack are Chicago O’Hare (ORD) at 2:1 and New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports at 2.5:1 and 3.5:1, respectively. Hawaii’s OGG and HNL airports fill out the bottom of the list at 5:1 and 6:1, respectively.
Finally, in the odds for airport with the most cancellations, LAX is tied with New York’s LaGuardia (LGA) at 1.25:1 odds as the airport with the highest percentage of flight cancellations, followed by San Francisco International (SFO) at 1.75:1; Chicago O’Hare (ORD) at 2.25:1, and New York’s JFK (6:1). Hawaii’s OGG and HNL airports are tied at 8:1 at the bottom of the list.
BetUS customers can also bet airlines to have the most cancellations or delays “head to head” – for instance, United vs. Southwest or Alaska vs. Frontier, or “over/under” bets on the percentage of flights to be delayed or canceled on specific dates.