AAA estimates 6.4 million more people will travel this Thanksgiving

Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH PA. (WTRF) Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for travel and this year is no exception. 

It is the start of a busy week for travelers. At Pittsburgh International airport and, no surprise, it’s jam packed. People are all getting excited to go travel for the holidays and see their friends and family.

Now that borders are open and new health and safety guidelines are in place, AAA predicts traveling to be at an all-time high. Director of Public Affairs for AAA East Central, Jim Garrity says you should prepare for delays and will have to be patient.  

We at AAA are expecting about a 13% increase of travelers this year compared to last year and at the airport we’re expecting an 80% increase. 

The busiest days we would expect to see traffic are today, Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving and then you’ll see it spread out the couple days following and then you’ll going to see a lot of people coming home on Sunday and traffic will increase then as well.

Jim Garrity, Director of Public Affairs for AAA East Central 

Garrity says his best advice is to leave early to avoid running into problems. In 2020, we saw an all-time low for traveling and this year is quite the opposite.

AAA says that more than 53.4 million people are expected to travel, the highest single year increase since 2005. Air travel is expected to increase to 4.2 million in 2021. The highest one-year increase on record. 

One traffic worker at the Pittsburgh International airport said the pickup line has been backed up since earlier this morning. People everywhere are coming and going to reunite with their loved ones.

Julia Atiles is waiting at the airport to pick up a family member that she hasn’t seen in a while.

I’m here to pick up my daughter today, she is coming for Austin, Texas. She graduated last May, and this is her first trip back home. It’s nice to be able to catch a plane and come here and feel safe.

Julia Atiles, Professor of Early Childhood Education 

Whether you are travelling by plane or car, you should be preparing for long lines and crowded roads.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released its recommendations for holiday gathering and related travel.

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