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Holiday Travel – Jubilant Thanksgiving Travel Improved This Year

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Holiday Travel: Thanksgiving Travel Has Improved This Year According to the automotive and travel club AAA, Thanksgiving travel will account for nearly 98% of pre-pandemic volume.

Holiday Travel
Holiday Travel

This Thanksgiving is expected to be the third busiest since AAA began tracking travel volume in 2000, with 54.6 million people expected to travel over the holiday period, a 1.5% increase from 2021. (The figure peaked in 2005 and was second-highest just before the 2019 pandemic.) While inflation fell more than expected in October, to 7.7%, Americans are still pessimistic about the economy. However, according to AAA, this does not appear to be affecting travel demand.

Holiday Travel after two Years of Pandemic

“Given inflation and higher gas prices, it appears counterintuitive. However, given how isolated and separated we were during the first two years of the pandemic – and with travel restrictions now lifted – travel demand is high “Aixa Diaz, a AAA spokesperson, told CNN via email.

While gas is expensive (the national average per gallon on Monday was $3.77), it is down from a month ago and well below the $5 per gallon peak in mid-June.

Americans, according to Diaz, are more comfortable taking public transportation, including planes and trains, and they are budgeting for travel. “They’re cutting back in other areas of their lives, such as dining out at less expensive restaurants or shopping less,” Diaz said, “and changing their

Travel By Air

Air Travel

The number of Americans expected to travel by air is expected to increase by nearly 8% by 2021. The 4.5 million Americans flying over the holiday period, which runs from Wednesday, November 23, to Sunday, November 27, accounts for nearly 99% of the total volume in 2019.

“Airport parking spaces fill up quickly, so plan ahead of time and arrive early,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of travel. “Expect long TSA lines. If possible, avoid checking a bag to give yourself more options if your flight is delayed or you need to reschedule.”

And, while everything seems to be getting more expensive these days, according to Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, airfare

Airfares “bottomed out” for about two years between March 2020 and March 2022, according to Keyes. Then, in the spring, it “really zoomed up.” “Since then, it’s gradually returned to Earth, and if you squint, it appears to be normal. It appears to be the same as it was prior to the pandemic “Keyes stated.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t more expensive than last year. “Even after adjusting for inflation, air fare today is 34% higher

With demand as high as it is this holiday season, many air travelers are bracing for disruptions after a summer of cancellations and delays. Airlines have “gone above and beyond” to prepare, according to Nick Calio, president and CEO of industry group Airlines for America, in an interview with CNN’s Pete Muntean. “They’ve adjusted their schedules, they’ve been on hiring binges, putting people in the right places at the right time,” he said.

Calio’s main concern? “I am concerned about the weather. I’m always concerned about the weather because it’s the number one factor that can derail a flight or a flight pattern, but I believe we’re now flexible enough that if there are cancellations or delays, we’ll be ready to get people where they need to go.”

Travel by Road

Road Travel

Most travelers will drive to their destinations, as has been customary in the past. Nearly 49 million people are expected to travel by car this year. This is 2.5% lower than in 2019, but 0.4% higher than in 2018. The AAA forecast considers trips that are 50 miles or more from home.

Highways are expected to be congested, especially in major metropolitan areas. INRIX, a mobility insight firm, recommends leaving early on Wednesday or before 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day to avoid the busiest times leading up to the holiday weekend. Also, avoid the hours of 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, more than 1.4 million people are expected to travel by bus, train, or cruise ship, accounting for 96% of the total volume in 2019.

Source: CNN

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