October 4, 2022
http3A2F2Fcdn.cnn .com2Fcnnnext2Fdam2Fassets2F211214150307 03 2021 winter holiday travel united airlines ksd72b
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(CNN) — So that you’ll be residence for Christmas? It appears to be like like a lot of persons are telling their households “you possibly can plan on me.”

New projections say winter holiday travel is about to roar back with a vengeance.

AAA estimates greater than 109 million Individuals will travel over the lengthy Christmas and New Yr’s week — a quantity approaching the pre-pandemic report 119 million vacationers of Christmas 2019.

The AAA predictions are from December 23 to January 2.

For the greater than 100 million individuals who AAA predicts will drive, fuel costs are slumping from highs reached round Thanksgiving. The nationwide common dipped to $3.30 on Tuesday, down from $3.41 a month in the past.

AAA mentioned it believes fuel costs “are unlikely to have a important influence on the return of auto travel,” and the US Power Info Administration mentioned final week that it expects fuel costs to drop below $3 a gallon on average for 2022.

On the airports

Airways are projected to hold 6.4 million passengers, AAA mentioned. That’s about triple the quantity from final 12 months when the pandemic considerably curtailed holiday travel.

Transportation Safety Administrator David Pekoske predicted on Monday that the Christmas rush will be busy, however that the single busiest travel day of 2021 has already handed: the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The Transportation Safety Administration reported screening 2,451,300 individuals on November 28. It was about 85% of the amount screened on the identical day in 2019, earlier than the pandemic.

Pekoske predicted December 23 and January 3 will be the busiest days of the winter holiday season.

The Sunday and Monday after Christmas will see “a convergence of vacationers returning residence from Christmas journeys and heading out for New Yr’s holidays.”

United: Prepare for a rush

Vacationers crowd the United Airways check-in space on the Los Angeles Worldwide Airport on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.

Jae C. Hong/AP

United Airways mentioned it’s getting ready for holiday travel this month to be even busier than the Thanksgiving rush, which set a pandemic-era report.

The airline mentioned it expects to hold a mean of 420,000 passengers day by day, up from the 400,000 day by day it carried round Thanksgiving. That’s about 8 million passengers for its holiday interval, which United units from December 16 by January 3.

The airline mentioned it will run 200 further flights day by day to deal with the elevated hundreds.

United warns the Thursday earlier than Christmas (December 23) will be the one busiest day of this season.

The travel app Hopper additionally expects December 23 to be the busiest flying day, and it advised CNN Travel in an e-mail that the highest home locations booked by their prospects are New York Metropolis, Orlando and Los Angeles.

Below scrutiny over meltdowns

Airways, in the meantime, are underneath scrutiny from Washington after scheduling meltdowns earlier this 12 months left lots of vacationers stranded.

Airways corresponding to Spirit, Southwest and American blamed elements together with climate issues and scaling up from pandemic-era lows.

Executives from the nation’s 4 largest carriers are scheduled to testify earlier than a Senate committee on Wednesday about how they used their shares of greater than $50 billion in federal assist to maintain aviation staff on the job.

The top of American Airways is anticipated to inform lawmakers that the service is “aggressively onboarding new hires” to beat back a repeat of 1000’s of flight cancellations this fall.

“The return of demand for air travel has been intense,” wrote American Airways CEO Doug Parker in testimony submitted Monday to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

“Like different airways, we now have skilled some operational challenges in current months, which we now have labored to handle as deftly as attainable and with the utmost take care of our prospects and workforce members,” Parker mentioned.

Ought to I keep or ought to I am going?

The ice skating rink at Bryant Park in New York Metropolis is simply one of many metropolis’s many attracts. Some individuals may nonetheless be asking whether or not they need to travel this seaon whereas there are nonetheless unknowns.

Christopher Occhicone/Bloomberg/Getty Photographs

Whereas many individuals are predicted to get their transfer on, others may be asking: What about Omicron?

The brand new variant, designated a “variant of concern” over the Thanksgiving travel interval, provides an additional layer of uncertainty as individuals put together for December and January journeys.

If you happen to’re vaccinated, you shouldn’t have to vary your holiday plans — even with Omicron circulating in the US, in line with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments.

CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen mentioned that whether or not to travel or not is a private calculation.

“There are a lot of unknowns, so I feel that is determined by individuals’s particular person threat tolerance. There will be some people who find themselves OK with the unknowns and who’re usually wholesome, totally vaccinated and aren’t that nervous,” mentioned Wen, an emergency doctor and professor of well being coverage and administration on the George Washington College Milken Institute Faculty of Public Well being.

“However there are different individuals who due to their very own medical state of affairs or due to threat elements may really feel in a different way.”

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