Higher prices can’t slow down booming holiday travel
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An estimated 54.5 million people are on the move this Thanksgiving and they are paying a lot more to travel than they did last year. But that does not seem to be slowing anyone down.
AAA reports airline ticket prices are up 22 percent this season, a five year high. Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport officials predict passenger numbers this year will be just 4 percentage points short of the record the airport set before the pandemic in 2019.
AAA also reports gasoline, regionally, is the highest on record, 23 cents a gallon more expensive than last year. And yet 49 million people nationally will be traveling by car.
“Gas prices have never impacted people from traveling,” Tiffany Stanley, AAA East Central spokesperson said. “The pandemic did of course. But high gas prices never impacted people from traveling and making those memories with their loved ones. So we are seeing that people are saving money in different areas of their life to be able to afford to spend time with their family.”
Officials at Louisville Muhammad Ali International (SDF) recommend arriving 90 minutes to two hours before your flight. That is especially important when long lines and shortages of parking spaces are possible.
“It’s possible we may have intermittent closures especially to our parking garage and surface lot,” Natalie Chaudoin, Louisville Regional Airport Authority Public Relations Director said. “So please be familiar with where else to park. Some other options including our new premier west lot as well as our premier east lot. Those are also good options to have in case we do have intermittent closures with those other lots being full.”
If you are picking someone up at the airport, it is also recommended to meet them on the upper level instead of the lower level at baggage claim.
“Everyone by innate reasons thinks to pick up on the lower level where baggage claim is,” Chaudoin said. “But kind of a tip, because we do expect high travel volume and some congestion on that lower level, is to pick up your loved one on the upper roadway where the ticketing and check-in signs are. Have them meet you on that second level to avoid coming to the congestion on the lower roadway over the next few days.”
The busiest day at SDF is expected on Thanksgiving Day with 15,000 arriving and departing passengers predicted. The busiest day on the road is expected to be Wednesday.
“People are very eager to get back to creating those memories with their family,” Stanley said. “But we urge everyone to please pack your patience. And travel safely this holiday season.”
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