Holiday season travel to hit record high; air traffic to be busiest on Thanksgiving Day since 2000

Thanksgiving is only five days away and the holiday season is about to begin. And that also marks the beginning of another busy travel season. According to American Automobile Association (AAA), a record 55 million people will travel this holiday season to destinations more than 50 miles.

This means 1.6 million more people will be availing holidays or will travel this season. This is an increase of 2.9% compared with last year's figures and will also make it the busiest Thanksgiving for travel since 2000.

American Automobile Association considers November 26 to December 1 as travel period and expects that numbers will increase this year owing to a strong economy. Thanksgiving travel hit a record high in 2005 when the number hit 58.6 million.

Travel top priority during holiday season

Airport Pixabay

Every year millions of Americans hit the road during the holiday season and this year too isn't likely to be any different. And with many schools giving holiday on Wednesday, holiday travel is likely to start a day earlier.

Lloyd Albert, senior vice president of public and government affairs. AAA Northeast, said, "Strong economic fundamentals are motivating Americans to venture out this holiday in near-record numbers. Travel remains one of their top priorities for the holiday season."

Holiday season travel hit an all-time high in 2016.

Airline companies to benefit

Needless to say, holiday travel season is one of the busiest times for airline companies, with many struggling to accommodate passengers. Per the American Automobile Association, airline companies will benefit the most, with more than 4.45 million Americans expected to fly during the Thanksgiving holiday.

This raises the volume of air travel by 4.6% compared with last year. Passenger travel through airports is already 4.75% higher year to date and Thanksgiving through December 1 is only likely to give it a further boost.

The top three destinations this year are New York City, Orlando, Florida and Anaheim, California.

Roads to remain busy

Passengers boarding an aircraft Pixabay

Although air travel will witness the biggest increase in volume during the Thanksgiving holiday, many also plan to travel by road. An estimated 49.3 million are expected to travel by cars to their destination.

This will be an increase of 2.8% over last year. One of the primary reasons behind this increase could be lower gas prices. Travel by other methods such as trains, buses and cruise ships are likely to touch 1.49 million, an increase of 1.4% from last year.