50 million Americans to travel for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is back to almost-normal.

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Thanksgiving is upon us. And it’s set to be a massive one for travel. AAA has already predicted that this year’s holiday will be the third busiest since 2000, with 54 million on the road and another 4.5 million taking to the skies. All to enjoy some bland turkey and unsolicited judgment on your life choices.

Less concentrated chaos; more steady surges

But while the numbers are enormous, there’s hope it won’t be as rough out there as we’ve come to expect, thanks in large part to work-life shifts. That’s right, the monumental Covid-era pivot towards more flexible work schedules means many workers who would typically wait for end-of-day Wednesday before leaving have been trickling across the country all week. Roads and airports have been steadily busy, but not with the same intensity as some previous years.

City breaks rule supreme

Plenty of travelers aren’t staying home either. Orlando, Anaheim, Vegas, and New York are the most popular airports, showing a strong desire for many to get back out into cities and theme parks with their families, matching travel trends elsewhere.

Can airlines cope with the numbers?

Of course, there’s still concern that airlines aren’t ready to cope with the numbers yet, after a tumultuous year that’s seen the industry ground to a halt on many occasions. Almost all US carriers claim they’re ready and that staffing issues have been rectified, but there’s no denying the holiday will be viewed as a baseline test of their recovery.

In regards to weather, the only major concern is for the east coast at the end of the week, when some heavy rain and snow in more mountainous regions could make an appearance. It’s unlikely flights will be affected, but those driving should take extra care.

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