AAA says that the number of Americans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday will increase 11.4 percent from 2009, with approximately 42.2 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home.
Last year, 37.9 million Americans traveled during the Thanksgiving holiday. The 2010 Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 24 to Sunday, November 28. The reason? AAA says it’s the economy.
“While Americans remain cautious with household budgets and discretionary spending amidst high levels of unemployment, many are in a better financial position this Thanksgiving than a year ago,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet. “This improvement, along with a strong desire to spend time with friends and family, is expected to propel a significant increase in Thanksgiving travel.”
Travel by automobile remains dominant mode of transportation
Trips by automobile remain the dominant mode of transportation for holiday travel with 94 percent of travelers, or 39.7 million people, reaching their destination by driving. This is an increase of 12 percent from last Thanksgiving when 35.5 million Americans reached their destination by motor vehicle. AAA expects the national average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline to remain between $2.85 and $2.95 during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.
Air travel expected to increase
Leisure air travel is expected to account for four percent of overall travel with 1.62 million holiday flyers, an increase of 3.5 percent from last year’s 1.57 million flyers. Trips by other modes, including rail, bus and watercraft, will be the dominant means of travel used by two percent of all travelers.
Median spending projected to be $495; average distance traveled 816 miles
Based on a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans this Thanksgiving holiday is expected to be 816 miles, virtually the same as one year ago (815 miles). Median spending is expected to be $495, roughly the same as last year when median spending was $494.
AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
What’s the big deal about Pat Downs?
I HATE TO FLY!
I once knew someone killed in a crash and since then I dread flying.
However, you can sure save a lot of valuable time doing it.
Have you ever been patted down?
I had a medical procedure once and now there is a piece of metal in me. Because of this, I’m a target for the pat downs. It’s really not a an inconvenience. I feel more sorry for the poor TSA person than myself.
Would you rather people got scanned and/or patted down or go back to a time when dangerous items could be brought on to a plane?
What triggers a pat-down?
Pat-downs are used to resolve alarms at the checkpoint, including those triggered by metal detectors and AIT units. Pat-downs are also used when a person opts out of AIT screening in order to detect potentially dangerous and prohibited items. Because pat-downs are specifically used to resolve alarms and prevent dangerous items from going on a plane, the vast majority of passengers will not receive a pat-down at the checkpoint.
What can I do to prevent an alarm at the security checkpoint?
The majority of pat-downs occur when a passenger alarms either the metal detector or the AIT unit. To reduce this circumstance, the most important thing you can do is take everything out of your pockets before you go through screening. Also, when traveling, avoid wearing clothes with a high metal content, and put heavy jewelry on after you go through security.
What do I do during a pat-down?
All passengers have important rights during a pat-down. You have the right to request the pat-down be conducted in a private room and you have the right to have the pat-down witnessed by a person of your choice. All pat-downs are only conducted by same-gender officers. The officer will explain the pat-down process before and during the pat-down. If you have a medical device, please inform the officer.
Will children receive pat-downs?
Transportation Security Officers will work with parents to resolve any alarms at the checkpoint. If required, a child may receive a modified pat-down. Parents are encouraged to ensure their children have taken all items out of their pockets as they go through the security checkpoint.
TSA Travel Checklist
- Click here to download TSA’s Helpful Hints for Holiday Travelers Checklist
- Quart sized zip top bag (Hint: 1 bag per passenger is permitted)
- 3 ounces or less sized containers of liquids, gels and aerosols (3-1-1)
- Visit TSA.gov to review the prohibited items list for both carry-on and checked baggage
- If purchasing a luggage lock, be sure to look for those that are recognized by TSA (Locks)
- It can be helpful to tape a card with your name and contact information on any large electronics (like laptops)
- Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.) (Pack For Security)
- Pack large electronics on top layer of carry-on for easy accessibility
- Place your 3-1-1 bag with liquids, gels and aerosols in front pocket of your carry-on for easy accessibility
Before Leaving for Airport
- Give yourself enough time to arrive at airport early
- Wear easily removable shoes
- Make sure to have accepted government issued identification and boarding pass if printed at home (Acceptable Identification)
Before Entering Checkpoint
- Look for Family/Medical Liquids Lanes if special assistance is needed for families (Family Lanes)
- Be sure to place all items from pockets and any bulky metal jewelry in carry-on bag or purse
- Have ID and boarding pass out for inspection
After Entering Checkpoint
- Remove 3-1-1 bag and place in bin
- Remove shoes and place directly on belt for quick screening (Shoes)
- Remove coats and jackets and place in bin (Outerwear)
- Remove computers and large electronics from carry on and place in bin alone (video game consoles, remote control toys, etc.) (Large Electronics)
- Ensure no items remain in your pockets before proceeding to the walk-through metal detector or imaging technology (keys, cell phones, comb, eyeglasses, etc.) (Imaging Technology)
- Remember to check bins and collect all belongings following screening
Helpful Travel Information
- Information on traveling with food and gifts
- Learn more about the 3-1-1 Policy
- Tips on traveling with children
- Tips on traveling with passengers with special needs
- Complete list of prohibited items
- Identification requirements
- Information on traveling with unique items, including sporting equipment
- Tips on how to pack for security
- 511 – America’s Traveler Information Telephone Number
- Construction Related
- Local and State Transit Links
- Traffic Conditions
- Regional Links
- Weather/Road Conditions Related
- AccuTraffic – Traffic Information for States
- Beat the Traffic Information for Various US Cities
- Iteris Real-Time Traffic Information – Maps and Times – for Various US Cities
- MSN Traffic Reports
- SmarTraveler – Traffic Information for Various Major US Cities
- Smart-Traveler Information for Various US Cities
- Total Traffic Network – Traffic Information for US Cities
- Traffic.com – Traffic Information for US Cities
- TrafficGauge – Traffic Information for Various Major US Cities
- TrafficLand.com – Traffic Cameras for US and other Cities
- TravelForecast.com – United States Road and Traffic Conditions
- I-95 Corridor Coalition Traveler Information
- I-95 SafeTrip-21 Long Distance Trip Planning Web Site (from I-95 Coalition)
- I-95 Travelers Alert (from Starsystems)