Thanksgiving Travelers Will Have Plenty of Company

Whether by car, train, bus or plane more people in the U.S. are expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday than in several years, making roads, rails and airports packed with people and testing the patience of most.

According to the AAA, close to 51 million people in the U.S., by far the largest number in the last 12 years, are expected to travel a minimum of 50 miles from home, an increase of 3.3% over travelers in 2016.

The travel period for the Thanksgiving holiday defined by AAA is from Wednesday through Sunday.

A strong labor market and economy have generated higher incomes as well as more consumer confidence, which fuels a solid year for those in the travel industry, said an AAA senior vice president, who added that the trend would likely extend through the rest of the holiday season.

The trade group Airlines for America, which represents some of the largest air carriers in the U.S., predicts that from November 17 through November 28 over 28.5 million people will be passengers on U.S. air carriers. AAA said that people in the U.S. will pay the lowest airfares during the holiday since 2013.

It is important said AAA to check with airlines prior to leaving for the airport. The majority of airlines also use apps that make it much easier to check the status of flights, as well as to check in or to rebook tickets.

Officials at airports recommend passengers arrive a minimum of two hours prior to the departure of domestic flights and at least three hours for international flights.

New security procedures have been implemented, which means that unless a passenger is a member of the PreCheck program with TSA, in addition to a laptop, you will need to put any other electronic device that is bigger than a cell phone, like iPads, Nooks, Kindle or other e-readers, into individual bins to be screened.

The changes in screening have been prompted by concerns that terrorists would be able to hide explosives in electronic devices larger than phones.

Amtrak in November unveiled its refurbished interiors of trains for passenger in certain areas of the U.S.

Last year over 750,000 people used Amtrak during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday.

Record number of people are expected to create traffic jams on road across the U.S. AAA says that drivers will be the highest gas prices at Thanksgiving since 2014, but it is not expected to be discouraging for drivers.

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