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More Than 2 Million Ohioans Expected To Travel Over Thanksgiving Holiday

columbus_cars.jpg
Peter Dutton
/
Columbus

The roads are is expected to be busy this Thanksgiving holiday. The number of travelers on Ohio’s roads is expected to be the highest in more than a decade.

Gas prices have dropped in the last week, to an average of $2.37, but are still higher than they’ve been since 2014. But the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Matt Bruning says more than 2 million Ohioans are expected to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday – the most since 2005.

While the days before Thanksgiving are busy, he says Sunday is the day when most will be on the roads.

“We see about a 42 percent increase in traffic volumes on Sunday alone," Bruning says.

Bruning says Thanksgiving is the holiday with the highest travel volume. 

The AAA auto club predicts that 54.3 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home between Wednesday and Sunday, the highest number since 2005 and about a 5 percent increase over last year. AAA says 48 million will drive and 4.7 million will fly.

Looking at a longer, 12-day period, the airline industry trade group Airlines for America predicts that a record 30.6 million people will fly on U.S. carriers, up from 29 million last year. That's more than 2.5 million per day.

The airline group expects that Wednesday will be the second busiest day of the holiday period behind only Sunday, when many travelers will be returning home.

Travelers should prepare for long lines at airport checkpoints. The Transportation Security Administration expected to screen about 25 million people between Monday and next Monday, an increase of 5 percent over last year.

The airline group's numbers are bigger because its forecast covers an extra day and it counts connecting passengers again, while TSA only counts those people once when they pass the checkpoint.

TSA says the holiday rush really started last Friday — similar to last year but earlier than in previous years. The Sunday following Thanksgiving is expected to be one of TSA's 10 busiest days ever.