Travel | November 17, 2022 5:29 pm

Spice Up Your Thanksgiving by Betting on Which Airline Will Cancel the Most Flights

We'll take $50 on Frontier

Friends placing bets on mobile phones
Getty

Holiday travel is not for the faint of heart even under the most idyllic of circumstances, but — considering the hellscape that the past 11 months have been — it stands to reason that this holiday season in particular is going to be a real doozy.

I’m talking, of course, about flight delays and cancellations. In fact, according to Reuters, 128,934 flights were canceled in the U.S. from January to July, an 11% increase compared to the same time period in 2019, and nearly a million flights were delayed. For further context, AAA is forecasting that air travel be up nearly 8% over 2021, with a projected 4.5 million Americans flying to their Thanksgiving destinations this year. You get the idea.

Fortunately, there may be a way to make things moderately more entertaining for those headed to the airport next week. According to a new report from Forbes, online gambling company BetUS.com is now accepting bets on which airlines will have the most cancellations and delays, as well as which airports will suffer the worst.

“There has been a lot of talk and predictions about how chaotic Thanksgiving week travel could be this year, and we figured what better way to make the best of a potentially bad situation,” Tim Williams, director of public relations for BetUS, said.

To establish odds, BetUS’s oddsmakers analyzed carriers’ and airports’ performance for Thanksgiving weeks going back to 2015. Based on the data collected, Alaska Airlines was determined to be the favorite to cancel the most flights next week with 2:1 odds, followed by Frontier Airlines with 2.75:1 odds. Alternatively, JetBlue was deemed the longshot with 9:1 odds. (You can see how the rest of the major U.S. carriers shaped up here.)

“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,” Barry Barger, senior betting analyst at BetUS, told Forbes.

The minimum bet is $5 and the maximum is $50, though a $50 wager can reportedly yield a pretty big return. So if you’re willing to take a roll of the digital dice, consider betting on your favorite airline this turkey day…unless that airline is Alaska, in which case: may the odds be ever in your favor.