An on-the-ground look at air travel ahead of Thanksgiving
While it may not exceed 2019 travel levels, this Thanksgiving will be the third largest since 2000, according to AAA.
MINNEAPOLIS — Each year, tens of millions of Americans take to the roads, rails, and skies ahead of Thanksgiving Day — and 2022 is no exception.
My journey to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport began with the drive from Toledo to Detroit Metro Airport, which was a quiet one — something you wouldn’t normally expect two days in advance of a major holiday.
But how about the flight? It too was unusually quiet, but not an empty one by any means. Wheels down in Minneapolis did eventually meet the expectations of a major city’s airport two days ahead of a major holiday.
Many were left waiting for their rides, and according to AAA, they weren’t alone. The travel agency predicts that 54.6 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles to celebrate turkey day, up 1.5% from 2021. That number is mostly made-up by those hitting the roads, a predicted 49 million people. AAA says this is expected to be the busiest year for Thanksgiving travel since the agency started tracking this data in the year 2000.
Air travel is up 8% since 2021, with 4.5 million expected to take to the skies.
The number of Amercians hitting the roads is also up — by only 0.4%, though, which is 2.5% below 2019 levels.
So there you have it: holiday travel is here to stay, so be vigilant, leave early, and hope for the best.