Tag Archives: AAA

2.5 Million In Illinois Will Travel Thanksgiving Weekend

By Nick Gale, WLS-AM 890 News
(CHICAGO) AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year. That’s the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007.
In Illinois, 2.5 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a 1.6-percent increase from 2015. Of those travelers, nearly 2.3 million will be driving and 182,000 will be flying.
In Indiana, nearly 1.1 million people are expected to travel. Of those, 980,000 are expected to travel by auto and about 79,000 by air.
AAA says this year’s increase in Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence. Despite recent incremental increases in the national average price of gasoline, AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $28 billion so far at the pumps this year compared to the same period last year.
This year’s top Thanksgiving destinations include many popular west coast cities, as well as perennial family-friendly favorites. The most popular destinations this Thanksgiving, based on AAA.com bookings, are:
1.Las Vegas, Nevada
2.San Francisco, California
3.San Diego, California
4.Orlando, Florida
5.New York City, New York
6.New Orleans, Louisiana
7.Anaheim, California
8.Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9.Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
10.Seattle, Washington
AAA expects to rescue more than 370,000 motorists this Thanksgiving, with the primary reasons being dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts. AAA recommends that motorists check the condition of their battery and tires and pack emergency kits in their vehicles before heading out on a holiday getaway.
© WLS-AM 890 News

UPDATE: Holiday travel volume highest in 10 years, as airports expect 1.6M in Chicago

(CHICAGO) More than 37.2 million Americans will be taking to the roads or skies this Memorial Day weekend, a 4.7 percent increase from last year and the highest total in 10 years, according to the annual AAA travel forecast.

On the roads, some 33 million travelers will be driving more than 50 miles to their destination, according to AAA.

“AAA is expecting more Memorial Day travelers this year than any time in the past 10 years as confident consumers come out of hibernation ready to explore national parks, beach destinations and America’s great cities,” AAA president Marshall Donley said in a statement.

Also fueling the increase is the fact that drivers will pay less for gas this holiday than they have in at least five years, a national average of $2.66, $1 less than last year, according to AAA.

In the air, holiday travel is expected to increase 2.5 percent to 2.6 million leisure travelers, according to AAA, and a lot of those will be passing through Chicago.

More than 1.6 million people are expected at the city’s two airports over Memorial Day weekend, which traditionally marks the start of the summer travel season.

The city Dept. of Aviation expects passenger volume at O’Hare to reach 1.2 million over the six-day period between Thursday and Tuesday, the department said in a statement. That number would be a 1.5 percent increase over 2014.

Midway is expected to see nearly 380,000 passengers, a 5 percent increase over last year, officials said.

Friday is expected to be the busiest travel day at both airports, the department said.

To mark the occasion, both airports will be sporting decorations in red, white and blue for the Memorial Day holiday, as well as to mark Military Appreciation Month.

Live blues and jazz bands will perform in terminals at both airports Friday. And the USO of Illinois is partnering with airport officials to allow travelers to donate to active and retired military personnel during the month of May.

Travelers to O’Hare should allow extra time because of roadway construction projects at the airport and on nearby Irving Park Road, Mannheim Road and I-190.

Along with low gas prices, a number of factors are getting Americans moving this weekend, according to AAA.

“A strong employment market and low gas prices have driven consumer optimism to new highs and boosted Americans’ disposable income. This is welcome news for the travel industry,” Donley said.

Other than planes and road vehicles, however, holiday transportation by other modes such as cruises, trains and buses is expected to decrease 3.6 percent to 1.64 million, according to AAA.