Hectic Travel Weekend Underway

By: Nadia Singh, John Chapman Email
By: Nadia Singh, John Chapman Email

Across the country millions were hitting the road Wednesday on their way to a Thanksgiving feast with family and friends.

Triple-A predicts more than 38 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home, almost a one-and-a-half percent increase from last year when Thanksgiving travel dropped more than 25 percent.

Experts say although the economy has improved, for many things are still tight. That could be why the majority are packing up the vehicle for their trip.

“Car travel is up largely due to economic factors with travel cost,” said Rose White with the Nebraska Triple-A. “Families like to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, the parents with the children, and travel by air can get quite costly especially if you factor in the luggage fee and so forth associated with travel by air.”

At the pump, expect to pay anywhere from $2.50 a gallon to $2.90 for regular unleaded, up some 57 cents from this same time last year.

There weren't as many people at Eppley Airfield this year, so there was plenty of room to move about.

"Even though the air rates are down four percent from what we had seen a year ago there are fewer people traveling by air this holiday period," said White.

"Many people had to make a decision back in October whether they're gonna fly or drive. The airline tightened up the capacity level so there are fewer planes, fewer seats available this holiday period.”

Those who took to the skies to fly home for the holiday noticed the numbers at airports were down. "I travel a lot over the holidays and I noticed, yes it was a little easier to get around on this holiday, apparently they had people traveling all week to make it a little easier for everybody,” said Erik Rusch, who flew in from San Diego.

Julie Janulewicz and her nephew Nick are in Omaha from Denver and noticed the same thing. "It was great, flew out of DIA, security went well, there were no lines, it was great absolutely great,” said Julie.

"It was real short compared to driving here, it beat driving ‘cause I get car sick the whole way,” said Nick Janulewicz. "It was comfortable.”

"The flights are going up, the airfares for the holidays are going to be sky-high so we try to make our reservations as early as possible," said Lise Sasson on her way to visit family in New Jersey.

Of course as with any holiday, increased enforcement on the roadways for seat belt and drinking and driving infractions will be widespread. The Nebraska State Patrol expects to have significantly more officers on the road this week conducting the Click It Or Ticket campaign.

As far as heading to the airport, remember the following:

  • Get to the airport early
  • Make sure you follow all FAA regulations for carry-on items
  • Check the status of your flight well in advance of arriving at the airport

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