AAA: Expect busy roadways, airports ahead of Thanksgiving


WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Airports and roads will likely be jam-packed ahead of the Thanksgiving this year, with AAA predicting a 13% uptick in Americans traveling for the holiday.

This year, AAA expects 53.4 million people to travel for Thanksgiving. Of those travelers, 48.3 million are expected to hit the road, while 4.2 million will likely fly to their destinations.

“This Thanksgiving, travel will look a lot different than last year,” AAA Senior of Vice President Paula Twidale said. “Now that the borders are open and new health and safety guidelines are in place, travel is once again high on the list for Americans who are ready to reunite with their loved ones for the holiday.”

In addition, AAA expects an 80% increase in air travel compared to last year.

“International travel re-opening will allow people to reconnect with friends and family and explore new places, while also giving a much-needed boost to the economy,” Twidale said. “But it also means airports will be busier than we’ve seen, so travelers must plan for long lines and extra time for TSA checks.”

The hustle and bustle of holiday travel is already apparent at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport.

To avoid any hassles, Rhode Island Airport Corporation spokesperson John Goodman suggests travelers plan ahead.

“We ask everyone to pack their patience and understand these longer lines cause stress for everyone, but everyone is committed to getting you where you need to be,” Goodman said.

Daniel Velez, a spokesperson for TSA New England, said travelers should arrive at the airport two hours prior to their departure in case of delays.

He also reminded people to fully unpack from prior trips so you know for sure what’s in your luggage and carry-ons.

“If you’re traveling … come prepared, come early, have your ID out and be ready to go and enjoy your holiday,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released its recommendations for holiday gatherings and related travel.

The best way to minimize COVID-19 risk, according to the CDC, is to get vaccinated if eligible. The CDC also suggests wearing a face mask while traveling, especially on public transportation where it is still required.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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