AAA: Thanksgiving travel to rebound to near pre-pandemic levels
AAA is predicting jammed roads and airports as we look ahead to the Thanksgiving holiday.
The just released travel forecast is predicting a rebound, saying things could look like pre-pandemic levels and travelers are paying the highest prices at the pump in eight years.
AAA predicts more than 53.4 million people traveling, 13%, or 6.4 million more than 2020. In addition, AAA says air travel will be 80% higher than last year.
“With borders now open and new health and safety guidelines in place, travel is high on the list of activities Americans want to pursue,” said Robert Sinclair, Jr. of AAA Northeast.
The U.S. opening to fully vaccinated foreign travelers will also increase the number of holiday travelers.
Those who haven’t booked their plane tickets yet are being advised to do so soon as fewer flights are available. Travelers could also choose to pick an early flight because most delays happen in the afternoon and evening.
AAA also says there will be fewer and more expensive options for hotels and car rentals.
Some Long Islanders say they don’t want to be bothered by the problems at the airlines and are opting for Thanksgiving at home.
“We are hearing flights are getting canceled and there isn’t enough staff,” says Huntington resident Amy Wohl. “I don’t know, it kind of feels uncomfortable. We have a big family, and I don’t want to put them on a plane…if it doesn’t feel safe, I guess turkey at home.”
Despite gasoline prices over $1.00 per gallon more expensive than last year, 48.3 million or 90%, will drive to their destination.
Officials say driving provides schedule flexibility, independence, and convenience, but traffic will be heaviest between 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving.
Anyone planning on traveling is urged to get on the roads early.