AAA: Thanksgiving travel to reach near pre-pandemic highs this week

Thousands of people from the Hudson Valley are already on the move as holiday travel is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels for the first time.
A steady stream of travelers could be seen today at Westchester County Airport and at airports across the country.
The TSA reports that 2 million people have already passed through since Friday and estimated 53.4 million people to travel Thanksgiving week.
That's a 13% increase from 2020. It's also expected to be the single year increase in travelers since 2005!
Air travel is expected to be up 80% from last Thanksgiving.
However, most travers will be in cars despite the highest gas prices around Thanksgiving in eight years.
AAA says 90% of Thanksgiving holiday travelers will be driving to their destinations this year and it will cost them. AAA puts the national average at $3.41 cents for a gallon of regular.
The availability of COVID-19 vaccines and families wanting to make up for missing last year’s gatherings have propelled travel to the near pre-pandemic high of 2019, according to Tracy Noble of AAA.
“You need to remember where we were last year at this time. People were still very concerned about COVID, they were quarantining at home, working from home, so it was a very different environment,” Noble says.
The travel surge will put airlines some of which have experienced staffing shortages to the test.