It feels a little bit closer to normal at airports like Green Bay’s Austin Straubel Airport this holiday season. The annual Thanksgiving Travel Forecast from AAA estimates that 53.4 million Americans will travel next week for Thanksgiving compared to 47.1 million last year. It is the biggest single-year jump in holiday traffic since 2005 and only trails 2019 by approximately five percent. While the majority of people plan on getting behind the wheel, over four million people are expected to fly. That is approximately 80 percent higher than last year but still less than the 4.5 million people that flew in 2019. Austin Straubel Airport Director Marty Piette has noticed the traffic uptick as vaccination rates have gone up, airfares have stayed steady, and restrictions on things like international travel have gone down. He says to be ready when you head to the airport.
Those driving will feel a little more pain at the pump with a gallon of gas over a dollar more expensive than it was a year ago when consumer traffic was still low due to the pandemic and production was high. Just over a million people will use other modes of transportation to get around for Thanksgiving including trains and buses.