Almost 2.5 million New Englanders are planning to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA. The latest numbers reflect a return to travel that comes close to pre-pandemic levels.
More than two million New England residents will be driving over the Thanksgiving holiday, the second-highest total since AAA has been projecting travel forecasts and up 9% over last year.
“Both the Thanksgiving travel projections and the results of AAA’s statewide poll tell the same story. Thanksgiving travelers see COVID in the rear view mirror and they are looking forward to returning to the pre-pandemic tradition of gathering with family and friends,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford, in a press release. “Travelers should expect - and plan for – both the roadways and airports to be as busy as ever.”
Air travel in New England will be up 82% over 2020 and only down 2% from 2019 levels, AAA said.
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In 2019, 293,000 New Englanders traveled by air. In 2021, AAA said the number will be around 285,000 passengers.
Meanwhile, a federal government mandate for TSA agents to comply with a vaccine mandate begins November 22, three days before Thanksgiving, raising concerns about possible staffing challenges for the holiday.
Nationally, AAA is projecting 53.4 million people will travel over the holiday weekend, up 13% from last year and only off 2019 levels by 5%.