A government shutdown won’t disrupt travel plans this Thanksgiving after Congress agreed on Wednesday to a funding package that will last until early next year. But clouds and crowds can make your trip a chore anyway.
The Transportation Security Administration expects about 30 million passengers to fly between this Friday and the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, an increase of 11.5 percent from the same period last year.
The weather won’t make it easy to celebrate Thanksgiving. Weekend storms in New England and low clouds and rain on the California coast could cause some delays. And Monday through Wednesday morning, a strong cold front will move east, slowing operations in airline hubs like Houston and Chicago before flooding the East Coast, said Paul Pastelok, AccuWeather senior meteorologist.
If you haven’t booked your trip yet, average airfare prices are slightly lower than in 2019, said Melanie Fish, head of public relations for Expedia Brands, and you can really save time and money by flying on Thanksgiving Day. .
“According to Expedia data, flying on Thanksgiving Day is 11 percent cheaper than the Thanksgiving week average, but here’s the real kicker: It’s almost half full compared to the day before Thanksgiving,” Ms. Fish said.
He four major New York City area airports operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey expect 3.1 million passengers from Monday through the Monday after Thanksgiving, slightly up from three million during the same period last year, said spokesman Seth Stein. of the Port Authority.
Those who plan to crowd the streets of Manhattan (instead of the airports) to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade We can expect the giant balloons to fly high: The forecast calls for very little wind, Pastelok said, and the day will be sunny and cold, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees.
On the floor
AAA predicts that 49.1 million Americans will drive to their destinations for Thanksgiving, an increase of 1.7 percent compared to 2022, said Robert Sinclair Jr., senior manager at AAA. That means congested roads, and the busiest days are forecast to be this Wednesday and the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Drivers may face longer than usual travel times on certain routes, AAA reported. Along Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, California, 88 percent more travel time than usual is expected Wednesday afternoon. Drivers on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, north of the nation’s capital, are projected to spend 71 percent more time on the road, starting early Wednesday afternoon.
Filling up will cost those drivers less. Average gasoline prices nationwide are projected to fall to $3.25 a gallon next week, said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Average gas prices have plummeted in all 50 states in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, with prices of $2.99 spreading like wildfire just in time for the start of the holiday season,” he said. in a Press release.
Americans are also boarding trains in higher numbers this year, and Amtrak expects 750,000 customers from this Sunday through the Sunday after Thanksgiving, said Jason Abrams, senior manager of public relations for Amtrak, an increase of about of 2 percent.
AAA’s Mr. Sinclair had a little advice for all you Thanksgiving road warriors: avoid Sunday traffic by driving on Saturday. “For those who listen to Ben Franklin,” Sinclair said, “fish and company go bad after three days.”
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