The travel industry reports a dramatic increase in customers compared to 2020

Christmas is this weekend and millions will be traveling to visit friends and family.
Christmas is this weekend and millions will be traveling to visit friends and family.(KY3)
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 9:36 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Millions will travel for the Christmas holiday to visit friends and family.

According to AAA, total year-end travel is expected to see a 34% increase compared to 2020. Airlines will see the biggest increase in customers with a 184% change since 2020. The pandemic kept many from leaving their homes in 2020, but with restrictions lifted and eased mandates more will hit the road this week.

“We know that it’s going to be a very busy travel season both on the roads and in the skies right here in Missouri,” said Nick Chabarria, AAA spokesperson. “We’re expecting about 2.2 million folks to travel for the year and holiday with about 2 million of those going by car. So certainly planning ahead for that extra traffic or that extra time in the airport is going to save folks a little bit of a headache this holiday season.”

Road trips remain the top mode of travel during the holidays, with more than 100 million planning to head to their destinations in cars despite gas costing $1.25 per gallon more than a year ago. More than 6 million travelers are expected to travel by air, while 3 million will travel by buses, trains, and cruise ships.

“It’s just expected for it to the roads in the skies to be busy,” said Chabarria. “Some things we’re recommending for folks get to the airport two hours ahead of your flight scheduled boarding time. That’s going to make sure to leave plenty of time for getting through TSA, any extra security measures that are in place.

If you are hitting the road this holiday season expect to see higher prices compared to last year.

“Airfare you can expect to pay about 5% more than this time last year,” said Chabarria. “Hotels have really seen some of the largest increase, about 36%. Car rentals are up this year as well.”

Be sure to plan ahead for your trip so you can arrive at your destination safely this holiday season.

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