AAA forecast: Travel up 13% over Thanksgiving last year, 80% for airline travelers

Local News

People wait in a long line at the Spirit Airlines ticket counter inside McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Air travel has “almost entirely recovered” from the pandemic, and travel around the Thanksgiving holiday is expected to surge overall, according to a report from AAA.

Airline travel is up 80% over last year, according to AAA Nevada spokesman Sergio Avila. AAA estimates 6.4 million more people will travel this Thanksgiving.

“Those traveling this Thanksgiving can expect to face more crowded roads and airports than they’ve seen in some time,” Avila said.

The number of travelers who choose to drive won’t be much above last year’s levels — about 8% higher. Travel by bus, train and cruise ships will return, as well — 262% above 2020 levels.

AAA predicts 53.4 million people will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, up 13% from 2020. As restrictions continue to lift and consumer confidence builds, AAA urges travelers to be proactive when making their travel plans this holiday season.

Whether you plan to do so by car or plane, AAA recommends following these guidelines to avoid unnecessary stress and challenges on the way to your Thanksgiving destination:

  • Be Proactive. Book flights, car rentals, accommodations and other activities as early as possible.
  • Be Patient. The roads and airports will be busy so plan ahead. For domestic air travel, AAA suggests arriving at the airport 2 hours ahead of departure time and 3 hours for international. Wednesday afternoon will be the busiest on the roads.
  • Be Prepared. Make sure you and your vehicle are road trip ready. AAA expects to help over 400,000 Members over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Check out AAA Nevada’s Stress Less Checklist to prepare.
  • Be Protected. AAA’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and are helpful resources travelers may use for free to understand closures, recommendations and requirements when traveling in the U.S. Also ensure you have masks ready as they are still required in many locations.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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