Thanksgiving Travel Expected to Decline Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Airports in late November will look very different in 2020, a year that has been dominated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a press release Thursday, AAA Arizona projected a 10% drop for nationwide travel on Thanksgiving this year, with air travel in Arizona projected to suffer a 48.1% drop from 2019.

Other means of travel, like busses, trains and cruises, are projected to witness an even greater decrease in Turkey Day travels in Arizona, according to the release, with a 75.7% decrease from last year.

“The wait-and-see approach travel trend continues to impact travel decisions,” Aldo Vazquez, AAA Arizona spokesperson, said in the release.

It is projected that around 940,000 Arizona travelers will hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday in 2020, which marks a 0.3% increase.

Air travel and other means of travel are only expected to have just under 60,000 travelers combined.

“The decision to travel is a personal one,” Vazquez said. “For those who are considering making a trip, the majority will go by car, which provides the flexibility to modify holiday travel plans up until the day of departure.”

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Arizona as the holidays near.

Arizona health officials for the third time this week on Saturday had a daily coronavirus case report rise above 3,000, a mark that previously hadn’t been surpassed since July 31.

The reported 3,476 new coronavirus cases by the Arizona Department of Health Services on Saturday brought the state’s documented totals to 273,053 COVID-19 infections.

The 10% decrease in nationwide travel on Thanksgiving is the most extensive one year drop since the 2008 Great Recession, according to the release.

Arizona Thanksgiving travel as a whole is projected by AAA to be 7.8% lower in 2020 than in 2019.

AAA Arizona advises holiday travelers follow public health guidelines and plan ahead.

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