cloudyn.png
Saturday December 3rd, 2022 5:55PM

Thanksgiving travel rush is back with some new habits

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

The Thanksgiving travel rush was back on this year, as people caught planes in numbers not seen in years, setting aside inflation concerns to reunite with loved ones and enjoy some normalcy after two holiday seasons marked by COVID-19 restrictions.

Changing habits around work and play, however, might spread out the crowds and reduce the usual amount of holiday travel stress. Experts say many people will start holiday trips early or return home later than normal because they will spend a few days working remotely — or at least tell the boss they're working remotely.

The busiest travel days during Thanksgiving week are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and the Sunday after the holiday. This year, the Federal Aviation Administration expects Tuesday to be the busiest travel day with roughly 48,000 scheduled flights.

Chris Williams, of Raleigh, North Carolina, flew Tuesday morning with his wife and two kids to Atlanta, Georgia, to spend the holiday with extended family.

“Of course it’s a stressful and expensive time to fly,” said Williams, 44, who works in finance. “But after a couple years of not getting to spend Thanksgiving with our extended family, I’d say we’re feeling thankful that the world’s gotten to a safe enough place where we can be with loved ones again.”

Although Williams said the family’s budget has been tight this year, he’s capitalized on the opportunity to teach his kids some personal finance basics. His youngest, 11, has been learning how to budget her allowance money since March and is excited to buy small gifts for her friends on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. “Probably slime,” she said, “with glitter.”

The Transportation Security Administration screened nearly 2.3 million travelers on Tuesday, down from more than 2.4 million screened the Tuesday before Thanksgiving in 2019. On Monday, the numbers were up versus 2019 — more than 2.6 million travelers compared with 2.5 million. That same trend occurred Sunday, marking the first year that the number of people catching planes on Thanksgiving week surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

“People are traveling on different days. Not everyone is traveling on that Wednesday night,” says Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president at the trade group Airlines for America. “People are spreading their travel out throughout the week, which I also think will help ensure smoother operations.”

AAA predicts that 54.6 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home in the U.S. this week, a 1.5% bump over Thanksgiving last year and only 2% less than in 2019. The auto club and insurance seller says nearly 49 million of those will travel by car, and 4.5 million will fly between Wednesday and Sunday.

U.S. airlines struggled to keep up as the number of passengers surged this year.

“We did have a challenging summer,” said Pinkerton, whose group speaks for members including American, United and Delta. She said that airlines have pared their schedules and hired thousands of workers — they now have more pilots than before the pandemic. “As a result, we're confident that the week is going to go well.”

U.S. airlines plan to operate 13% fewer flights this week than during Thanksgiving week in 2019. However, by using larger planes on average, the number of seats will drop only 2%, according to data from travel-researcher Cirium.

Airlines continue to blame flight disruptions on shortages of air traffic controllers, especially in Florida, a major holiday destination.

Controllers, who work for the Federal Aviation Administration, “get tested around the holidays. That seems to be when we have challenges,” Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle said a few days ago. “The FAA is adding another 10% to headcount, hopefully that's enough.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has disputed such claims, saying that the vast majority of delays and cancellations are caused by the airlines themselves.

TSA expects airports to be busier than last year and probably about on par with 2019. The busiest day in TSA's history came on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019, when nearly 2.9 million people were screened at airport checkpoints.

Stephanie Escutia, traveling with four children, her husband and her mother, said it took the family four hours to get through checking and security at the Orlando airport early Tuesday. The family was returning to Kansas City in time for Thanksgiving after a birthday trip to Disney World.

“We were surprised at how full the park was,” said Escutia, 32. “We thought it might be down some but it was packed.”

She welcomed the sense of normalcy, and said her family would be gathering for Thanksgiving without worrying about keeping their distance this year. “Now we are back to normal and looking forward to a nice holiday,” she said.

People getting behind the wheel or boarding a plane don't seem fazed by higher gasoline and airfare prices than last year or the widespread concern about inflation and the economy. That is already leading to predictions of strong travel over Christmas and New Year's.

“This pent-up demand for travel is still a real thing. It doesn’t feel like it’s going away,” says Tom Hall, a vice president and longtime writer for Lonely Planet, the publisher of travel guides. “That's keeping planes full, that's keeping prices high.”

___

Associated Press writers Hannah Schoenbaum in Raleigh, North Carolina, Margaret Stafford in Kansas City and AP video journalist Terence Chea in Oakland, California contributed to this report.

___

David Koenig can be reached at twitter.com/airlinewriter

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Business, AP Business - Careers, AP Business - Personal Finance
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Thanksgiving travel rush is back with some new habits
The holiday travel rush is already on, and it could spread out over more days than usual this year
2:02PM ( 9 minutes ago )
NCAA awards Final Four to Las Vegas for first time
The Final Four is headed to Las Vegas for the first time
1:52PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Thanksgiving travel rush begins with new some habits
The holiday travel rush is already on, and it could spread out over more days than usual this year
1:42PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
World Cup stunner: Saudi Arabia beats Messi's Argentina 2-1
Saudi Arabia scored one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever by beating an Argentina team led by Lionel Messi 2-1
12:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
Indonesia quake survivor grieves 11 relatives as he rebuilds
Enjot was tending his cows in the hills around his home when the earth shook, toppling his home, badly hurting his sister-in-law and her two children and killing 11 other relatives
12:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Driver faces charges in connection with Apple store crash
Authorities say a man was arraigned Tuesday on charges that he crashed his SUV through the front window of an Apple store in Massachusetts
12:29PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
A rail strike looms and impact on US economy could be broad
American consumers and nearly every industry will be affected if freight trains grind to a halt next month
9:14AM ( 4 hours ago )
Man charged with reckless homicide in Apple store crash
Authorities say a man is being charged with reckless homicide after crashing his SUV through the front window of an Apple store in Massachusetts
9:04AM ( 5 hours ago )
King Charles III welcomes S. African leader for state visit
King Charles III has welcomed South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to London for the first state visit of his reign
7:51AM ( 6 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Lydia Ko, Steven Alker, Ryan Fox make it big year for Kiwis
It would be a stretch to call 2022 the year of the Kiwi
12:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
US stocks rise, remain unsteady ahead of Thanksgiving
Stocks rose on Wall Street, but trading remained unsteady ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. The S&P 500 rose 0.6% Tuesday at midday
11:44AM ( 2 hours ago )
Catalonia limits water use as Spain prays for rain
Barcelona and large swathes of Spain’s northeast are going under water restrictions as an extended drought devastates crops and puts the pinch on human activities in the Mediterranean country
11:02AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Elizabeth Holmes gets more than 11 years for Theranos scam
Disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for duping investors in the failed startup that promised to revolutionize blood testing but instead made her a symbol of Silicon Valley ambition that veered into deceit
8:58PM ( 3 days ago )
Holmes gets more than 11 years in prison for Theranos scam
A federal judge has sentenced disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes to more than 11 years in prison for duping investors in the failed startup that promised to revolutionize blood testing but instead made her a symbol of Silicon Valley’s culture of audacious self-promotion
5:46PM ( 3 days ago )
Fired SpaceX employees accuse company of violating labor law
Several SpaceX employees who were fired after circulating an open letter calling out CEO Elon Musk’s behavior have filed a complaint accusing the company of violating labor laws
4:26PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Business - Careers
Italian premier presents economic measures on energy, family
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni has presented the government’s first economic policy initiatives
7:37AM ( 6 hours ago )
Consumers could pay price if railroads, unions can't agree
Consumers could quickly start seeing higher gas prices and shortages of some of their favorite groceries if railroads aren’t able to agree on contracts with al 12 of their unions ahead of next month’s deadline after the latest rejection vote Monday
6:00PM ( 20 hours ago )
Quote Box: Reaction to UN climate deal on historic fund
Many delegates at the U.N. climate summit in Egypt cheered as a deal was agreed upon that would create a fund for developing that have been hard hit by climate change
2:36AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Personal Finance
NCAA awards Final Four to Las Vegas for first time
The Final Four is headed to Las Vegas for the first time
1:52PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Thanksgiving travel rush begins with new some habits
The holiday travel rush is already on, and it could spread out over more days than usual this year
1:42PM ( 30 minutes ago )
'Stock up on blankets': Ukrainians brace for horrific winter
Officials say Ukraine could face rolling blackouts through March because Russian airstrikes have caused what they call “colossal” damage to the power grid
1:40PM ( 32 minutes ago )
'It's the reflex': Veteran helped disarm gunman at gay club
An army veteran who helped subdue the gunman at a gay club in Colorado Springs credits his military training and instincts in helping him disarm the attacker
1:31PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Mexico and Poland play out 0-0 draw at World Cup
Robert Lewandowski’s second-half penalty attempt was saved by Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa and left Poland to settle for a 0-0 draw at the World Cup
1:08PM ( 1 hour ago )