I have several options to go from point A to point B. I am just curious if there is a way to find out how crowded a flight will be on average (before buying the ticket of course)?

I am aware that airline companies would not want to share such an info, but a ballpark figure, or a seasonal average would be helpful.

One thing, I can think of to look at each airports yearly passenger numbers, and divide it to total number of flights, but that will be a very coarse estimation.

  • As it stands this question is very broad. It is very likely that a method to find out for a main airline in the USA will not work for a discount airline in Europe. Likely your question already has a partial answer, as I kind of remember one, but maybe when you edit to make it less broad you will change it enough to not be a duplicate.
    – Willeke
    Jun 2, 2016 at 18:52
  • @Willeke can you give the link of duplicate? I dont mind deleting my question
    – Emmet B
    Jun 2, 2016 at 18:53
  • 1
    What if the plane is 1/2 full when you buy your ticket and fills up after ?
    – Max
    Jun 2, 2016 at 18:59
  • Not as near a copy as I thought, very specific: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/64608/… But that leaves that your question is way to broad.
    – Willeke
    Jun 2, 2016 at 19:07
  • To narrow it down, can you give us airports and destinations, or do you want a generic answer? @EmmetB
    – user44274
    Jun 2, 2016 at 19:40

2 Answers 2


Couple of suggestions:

Time of year: If flight date is on/near the start of holiday season or major vacation time, then expect more travelers; if school vacations, more so.

Regular airlines vs. charters (for example Air Canada vs. Air Transat): Regular airlines will fly regular routes and will/can fly more often with a less than full plane.

Destination: if destination is a major destination (major hubs like Amsterdam, London...) planes will be more full because of connecting flights.

In all case, expect the worse, and hope for the best (expect a full plane and hope for extra seats)

Good luck.


Some airlines (United for example) let you see the available seats before you book. That's a fairly decent indicator if it's not too far in the future.

Unfortunately plane loading depends on a large number of factors, time of year, week day, holidays/vacation, route popularity and capacity, connecting routes capacity (and changes) and also special events at source or destination. Sports, graduation, big conference, etc. All of this makes it very difficult to do meaningful statistics.

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