News Column

Gas Prices Won't Deter Thanksgiving Traffic

Nov. 13, 2012

Sara K. Clarke, Orlando Sentinel

Slightly more Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year, despite a still sluggish economy and high gas prices.

Auto club AAA forecast Tuesday that 43.6 million Americans will take a trip of 50 miles or more away from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, an increase of 0.7 percent compared with the 43.3 million people who traveled a year ago.

In Florida, 2.2 million people are expected to travel, up 0.6 percent compared with a year ago. The overwhelming majority of those travelers -- about 91 percent -- will hit the roads rather than fly to their destination.

AAA said gas prices are expected to decline as travelers head into the Thanksgiving holiday, but they remain high by historical standards. The current national average for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline is $3.44, compared with $3.32 last Thanksgiving, AAA said.

Meanwhile, when it comes to the busiest airports in the U.S., Orlando's hometown airport has fallen in the ranks -- potentially a good sign for travelers flying out of Orlando for the holiday. Travel website Orbitz.com said its bookings show Orlando International Airport ranks No. 7 in the country for Thanksgiving travel. Last year, it took the No. 3 spot.



Source: (c)2012 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) Distributed by MCT Information Services