INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Thanksgiving travel rush has begun in the air and on the ground. According to AAA, experts are predicting numbers not seen in years after two holiday seasons marked by COVID-19 restrictions, with nearly 55 million Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more for the holiday.
Hoosiers go to the airport
Travel is increasing at airports including Indianapolis International Airport.
Airport officials say they see about 13,000 passengers each day, but the Thanksgiving holiday is expected to bring in 16,500 passengers per day.
Megan Carrico, the airport’s director of public affairs, said the busiest travel times are the morning before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after the holiday.
“Plan ahead and prepare,” Carrico said. “Be two hours early for your flight.”
Masks are no longer required at the airport or on airplanes, but Carrico says the Transportation Security Administration is allowing passengers to carry hand sanitizer in bottles of up to 12 ounces instead of 3 ounces.
Check your flight status Indianapolis International Airport website.
Indiana drivers hit the road
This year’s Thanksgiving is expected to be the third busiest day of travel AAA began monitoring in 2000.
AAA expects 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving this year, and 49 million of those will travel by car. That’s up about 1.5% from last year and 98% of pre-pandemic levels, AAA says.
According to AAA, the best time to hit the road is before 8am and the worst time to travel is between 11am and 8pm.
|Date||Bad travel time||Best travel time|
|11/23/22||11:00 AM – 8:00 PM||Before 8:00 AM and after 8:00 PM|
|11/24/22||11:00 AM – 3:00 PM||Before 11:00 am and after 6:00 pm|
|11/25/22||4:00 PM – 8:00 PM||Before 11:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m|
|11/26/22||4:00 PM – 8:00 PM||Before 2:00 PM and after 8:00 PM|
|11/27/22||4:00 PM – 8:00 PM||Before 11:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m|
According to AAA, air travel is up nearly 8% from 2021, with 4.5 million Americans flying to Thanksgiving destinations this year. This is an increase of over 330,000 passengers and almost 99% of the 2019 volume.
AAA reports that Americans are increasing their travel by other modes of transportation. More than 1.4 million travelers head out of town for Thanksgiving by bus, train or cruise ship. This is an increase of 23% from 2021 and 96% from the 2019 batch.
“The second highest we’ve had is 2019 — which is right before the pandemic — so that’s a real clear sign that we’re getting back to where we were before everything stopped a few years ago. It’s the highest we’ve ever been in 2005,” the Hoosier Motor Club said.
As for gas prices, they’ve historically been high this Thanksgiving, but have dropped slightly in Indiana over the past week. As of Wednesday morning, Gas friend It says the average gas price in Indiana is $3.77.
“When you look at where gas prices were a year ago, they’re about 50 cents higher than they were a year ago. And it’s the highest, if not the highest, that we’ll ever record for Thanksgiving gas prices. What we’ve seen is that even at these historically high gas prices, people “It’s not stopping people from traveling and getting to where they need to go. People are going to find a way to get there. But the good news is we’ve seen gas prices come down over the last week, which is a great sign and we’re definitely going to make things a little easier for people this Thanksgiving.” Wall said.
People should expect more officers on the roads. Indiana State Police are on patrol for New Year’s Day. This is part of the Safe Travel campaign
AAA advises travelers to allow extra time to get where they’re going, avoid peak travel times and plan to build patience.