Holiday travel expected to be twice as busy and expensive
EL PASO — According to the world's largest online marketplace for vacation rentals, the number of people traveling in December is expected to be nearly double that of last year.
The holidays are just around the corner and flying to family and friends for Thanksgiving will be more crowded and more expensive this year. Lin Pryor just landed in El Paso to visit his daugter.
"Prices were at least a $150 higher than last time I flew and the planes were totally packed with lot of travelers right now," said Pryor.
Nearly 24 million people are expected to fly between Friday November 16th and Tuesday November 27th, according to Trade Group Airlines for America. That's an increase of about 150,000 passengers from last year.
"I don't like to fight the crowds for sure but I've got some relatives that are in Houston and here and we always spend all the holidays with the family, so I would still travel," said Pryor.
Airplanes could be close to 90% full on the busiest travel days. Fewer planes due to skyrocketing jet fuel prices, allow airlines to hike prices.
But not everyone is planning on flying. The crowds and the prices could prove reason enough to take a road trip instead.
"I'm probably gonna be driving to where I wanna go this year for Christmas. Yeah I wanna avoid the hectic atmosphere at the airport," said a local El Pasoan Jim Duffy.
And if you do plan on flying, make sure you think ahead.
"I don't mind. I actually kinda like it.We're always ready, we prepare ourselves with food and magazines or Ipads," said Laura Frizzel.
El Paso airport officials suggest arriving at least two hours before a flight during the busy travel season. And experts say if you don't want as much company, consider flying on Thanksgiving day.