Travel Numbers Continues to Improve2010's improved economic conditions contributed to an 11 percent increase in Thanksgiving travel over 2009 according to AAA's annualGlobal Insight survey, which forecasts that 42.2 million travelers will be on the roads, airways and rails this Thanksgiving weekend. "The forecasted double-digit increase in Thanksgiving holiday travel would signify an important upturn in travel volume for the holiday after a year of negligible growth in 2009 (0.2 percent) and two years after a historic 25.2 percent decline in travel in 2008," said AAA last year. Not us, though: AAA said the 18-34 year old travelers category has increased from 28.1 percent in 2009 to 30.5 percent in 2010.
Airports, Airport Security and Holiday TravelThe TSA, the government agency which rules levels of airport security hassle, moved that hassle factor to defcon-3 with the introduction in 2010 of an invasive new patdown procedure applying to passengers who don't want the TSA to see them naked via a full body scanner (and even for some of those who do). Plenty o' people opted out of air travel altogether last Thanksgiving, and that trend holds true in 2011; airline ticket prices are higher at Thanksgiving 2011, too. All of this means that the way we travel over holiday weekends will keep on altering.
Means of Thanksgiving Travel Keep ChangingThanksgiving car travel is continuing to go up, while air travel has been on an overall decline for several years; while AAA's survey again attributes some of that to "...ongoing economic difficulties," as it did in 2010, it noted in 2009 that "...the air travel experience itself has undergone a substantial change." Has it ever. Clearly, we'd rather drive or take the train any day; these substantial increases in travel methods other than flying (16 percent increase in drivers over the last two years, 14.7 percent increase in bus and train travelers this year) show that we are going to get out and about, even if if it's not as quick as hopping a plane.
Thanksgiving Travel ToolsNovember November 29-December 2 will be the cheapest days to fly, but air travel's not the only way to fly. Learn more:
Comment: How Do You Feel About the TSA's New Security Measures?Got an opinion on the TSA's backscatter full body scanners, or the alternative and very intimate patdown? Give it, or read others' comments:
- Comment: Are You Planning to Walk Through the TSA Backscatter Machine? Why or Why Not?
- Comment: Have You Opted Out of the Scanner and Had a TSA Patdown? Details?