Busier airports, full planes seen on ThanksgivingBy SAMANTHA BOMKAMP
The Associated Press | November 09,2012
FILE -In this Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008, file photo, Abby Harris, 4, checks the wattle on a turkey greeting passengers at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Grapevine, Texas. Americans can expect airports to be busier and planes to be fuller than ever, according to a forecast by the main trade association for U.S. airlines on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, two weeks ahead of the holiday. And fares are already more expensive than a year ago. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam, File)NEW YORK — The recipe for Thanksgiving travel is likely to make travelers a little bitter this year.
Americans can expect airports to be busier and planes to be fuller than ever, according to a forecast by the main trade association for U.S. airlines two weeks ahead of the holiday. And fares are already more expensive than a year ago.
Airlines for America expects nearly 24 million travelers to fly from Friday, Nov. 16, through Tuesday, Nov. 27. That’s up slightly from a year ago. Last year’s tally was flat from 2010. Traffic on the nation’s airlines is still 10 percent below the peak travel years of 2006 and 2007.
This year’s uptick is in line with “the sluggish but consistent economic recovery,” aviation consultant Mark Kiefer said. The unemployment rate has improved in recent months, as has consumer confidence — two key indicators of travel demand.
For those traveling on the busiest days around Thanksgiving, planes are expected to be close to 90 percent full, the trade group says. That would be a record for the holiday. That forecast is an average, so expect most flights at peak hours to be completely full.
Sunday, Nov. 25 is projected as the busiest travel day, followed by Wednesday, Nov. 21 and Monday, Nov. 26.
Flights will be packed tighter because there are fewer of them. Airlines have been reducing flights to match demand, which in turn allows them to raise prices. Domestic fares are up 4 percent so far this year compared with the first ten months of 2011, according to the industry group. Kiefer expects that slight increase in fares to continue as airlines keep scaling back when they can.
Cutting flights also allows airlines to save on fuel, often their biggest expense.
Collectively U.S. airlines’ revenue rose 5.6 percent in the first nine months of this year. Fuel costs rose by 6.2 percent, cutting the amount earned per passenger. On average the 10 largest U.S. airlines made just 50 cents for every passenger they flew from January through September, Airlines for America said.MORE IN Wire NewsTEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian security court on Tuesday began the closed-door espionage trial of an... Full StorySANAA, Yemen — Fighters backing Yemen’s exiled government captured a key city on the road to the... Full StoryBAGHDAD — Iraq vowed Tuesday to retake Anbar province — now mostly held by the Islamic State — by... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.