Record delays expected in AAA’s 2019 Thanksgiving travel forecast

Western New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — More than 55 million travelers are making plans to kick off the holiday season with a trip 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving.

According to AAA, this will be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since they began tracking in 2000, only trailing a record set in 2005.

An additional 1.6 million more people will travel overall compared to last year, an increase of 2.9%.

AAA expects Wednesday afternoon the week of Thanksgiving to be the worst travel period driving nationally, with trips taking four times longer than normal.

“Strong economic fundamentals are motivating Americans to venture out this holiday in near-record numbers. Consumer spending remains strong, thanks to increasing wages, disposable income and household wealth, and travel remains one of their top priorities for the holiday season,” Vice President of AAA Travel Paul Twidale said.

Here’s AAA’s 2019 Thanksgiving travel forecast by the numbers: 

  • Automobiles: 49.3 million travelers will hit the road this Thanksgiving, the most since 2005 and 2.8% more than last year.
  • Planes: With 4.6% growth, air travel will see the biggest increase in travel volume during the Thanksgiving holiday, with 4.45 million Americans expected to fly.
  • Trains, Buses, and Cruise Ships: Travel by other modes will reach 1.49 million, a slight increase of 1.4% from 2018. 
Metro AreaWorst Time
Wednesday, Nov. 27
Delay Multiplier
Atlanta 5:30-7:30 PM 3.5x
Los Angeles5:00-7:00 PM3.5x
New York5:15-7:15 PM3.5x
Boston4:30-6:30 PM3.4x
Houston 5:00-7:00 PM3.4X
San Francisco2:00-4:00 PM3.2x
Washington DC3:00-5:00 PM2.8x
Seattle4:00-6:00 PM2.7x
Detroit5:15-7:15 PM2.6x
Chicago4:15-6:15 PM2.4x

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