Busy Thanksgiving expected as 55 million Americans hit the road, skies

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Busy Thanksgiving expected as 55 million Americans hit the road, skies

Nearly 55 million Americans are planning to travel this Thanksgiving holidy for what is predicted to be the third busiest travel season in two decades, according to forecasters at AAA.

The 54.6 million travelers represent Americans who plan to head 50 miles or more for the holiday between Wednesday and Sunday, according to AAA. Only 2005 and 2019 saw more travelers.

Most of the Americans — some 49 million people — plan to travel by car, while another 4.5 million are expected to fly.

“Families and friends are eager to spend time together this Thanksgiving, one of the busiest for travel in the past two decades,” said AAA Northeast VP Mary Maguire.

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.

a drop-off at the departure gate at laguardia airport
Most Americans who travel for Thanksgiving do so by car.
Paul Martinka
Thanksgiving travel
This Thanksgiving is expected to be the third busiest since 2000, according to AAA.
Paul Martinka

The busiest travel days during Thanksgiving week are usually Tuesday, Wednesday and the Sunday after the holiday.

This year, the Federal Aviation Administration expected Tuesday to be the busiest travel day with roughly 48,000 scheduled flights.

A total of 2,299,346 people passed through TSA airport checkpoints on Tuesday, up from 2,207,949 last year but still lower than 2019’s total of 2,425,170.

Thanksgiving travels
Tuesday, Wednesday and the Sunday after Thanksgiving tend to be the week’s busiest travel days.
Paul Martinka

US air carriers have said they are prepared for the influx of travelers after a summer marked by huge amounts delays and cancellations.

Few American airports were experiencing that level of chaos on Wednesday, with the New York region’s three major hubs — JFK, Newark and LaGuardia — all at zero cancellations and delays as of 3 p.m., according to airline tracker FlightAware.

“We did have a challenging summer… As a result, we’re confident that the week is going to go well,” said Sharon Pinkerton of the airline group Airlines for America.

With Post wires

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