Thanksgiving travel is reaching pre-pandemic levels

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 11:38 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Thanksgiving travel season is reaching pre-pandemic levels. Not only are people hitting the roadways, but many are also catching a train or bus and hopping on a plane. Travelers said they feel a bit more comfortable doing so this year.

AAA says the rebound of travelers headed to their various destinations this Thanksgiving is the highest single-year increase since 2005. That’s despite high gas prices. Around the Richmond metro, the average cost is $3.23, down only about $.03 from just a month ago.

Others have taken to the skies instead. Some people say since they’re vaccinated, and knowing their loved ones are too, is making that decision easier.

“Vaccination is the key. If you get yourself protected so you know you’re safe and you keep a mask on, then it’s nothing. It’s just like a regular day,” said a man traveling home from Alabama.

At Richmond International Airport Wednesday, Allison Stinson described what she saw.

“Crowded airport and everyone’s safe. That’s what’s important,” Stinson said. She is picking up her son and daughter-in-law, who flew in from Colorado. “You know, I’m happy. Momma’s happy.”

They’re among the 20 million people TSA expects to screen at security checkpoints nationwide from Friday of last week through the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

“We had smooth flights and everyone was respectful…The flights were full…Everything was crowded, but most people were masking,” said Kelly Nagy.

Many of those travelers say they’re going to see family for the first Thanksgiving since the pandemic. Another busy travel day ahead is Sunday, when many of them are planning to return from their destinations.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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