One million more Thanksgiving travelers expected this year

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“Thats why we are projecting and seeing a big increase in the number of Thanksgiving travelers, as many Americans are planning to leave town, after having foregone holiday travel over the last three years. As consumers weigh the fear of economic uncertainty and the desire to spend more quality time with their loved ones this holiday, more Americans are expected to choose family and friends over frugality.” 

The increase in travel comes as the Transportation Security Administration commemorates its 10th anniversary Saturday. AAA said 3.4 million people will travel by airplane over Thanksgiving, up 1.8 percent from the number of people who flew over the holiday weekend in 2010. 

The increase in air travel is expected despite the fact that airfares are projected to be 20 percent higher this year than last year. The agency said the average lowest price for airline tickets on the 40 most popular routes in the country was expected to be $212. 

“The combination of higher fares and lower availability of seats is expected to limit air travel growth this holiday to less than half of total traveler growth,” AAA said. 

Another 38.2 million people will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday by car, making up 90 percent of the expected holiday travelers, the auto club said, adding: “Automobile travel remains the preferred choice of transportation for holiday travelers as it is often more affordable, convenient and flexible.”

About 900,000 people are expected to travel by bus, train or another mode of transportation, AAA said.

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