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Travelers emerge in time for Thanksgiving – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-11-24 13:39:54 –

Determined to regain the Thanksgiving tradition suspended by last year’s pandemic, millions of Americans load cars and planes to reunite with friends and family.

The number of air travelers this week is expected to approach or exceed pre-pandemic levels, and Auto Club AAA said last year that those traveling at least 50 miles away from home during the holidays. It is expected to increase by nearly 4 million people. Despite the sharp rise in gasoline prices.

Many are boldly aware of the fact that nearly 200 million Americans are now fully vaccinated. But it also dispels concerns about the resurrected virus when the United States now has an average of nearly 100,000 new infections per day and a surprising increase in patients in hospitals in Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, and Arizona. Means that.

According to Johns Hopkins University statistics, the 7-day daily average of newly reported cases has increased by about 30% in the last two weeks until Tuesday. NS Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It’s unclear if the recommendation has any effect, but unvaccinated people say they shouldn’t travel.

Last Friday, the busiest day since the pandemic’s devastated trip, last Friday, more than 2.2 million travelers passed the airport checkpoint. From Friday to Tuesday, the number of people flying in the United States more than doubled on the same day last year, less than 9% less than on the same day in 2019.

At Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, Christian Titus was about to visit an extended family in Canada. Titus says he spent most of his pandemic inside, but is happy to risk flying in a crowded plane because he misses being around his family. He got a booster shot to enhance his protection.

“Being around my family at these times improves my mental health,” he said. “Yes, it’s dangerous. But you love these people, so you can do what you can to keep them safe.”

Meka Starling and her husband were excited to see their two-year-old son Kaiden for the first time at a large Thanksgiving rally in Linden, NJ, where many members of the extended family met.

Sterling, 44, from West Point, Mississippi, said, “I posted a photo on Facebook, so many people have seen his photo, but I was able to actually touch and talk to him. I’m very excited. “

Airlines want to avoid repeated cancellations of large flights. I went through the southwest When American Airlines At various times last month.

The breakdown began with bad weather in some parts of the country and went out of control. In the past, airlines had enough pilots, flight attendants, and other workers to recover from a lot of turmoil within a day or two. But after quitting thousands of employees when last year’s trip collapsed, they are now finding it difficult to recover because they are thin.

American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have all recently hired, and airlines and industry observers are hoping that this week’s flight will go well.

“The airline is ready for vacation,” said Hellen Becker, an airline analyst at financial services company Cohen. “They have reduced the number of flights, have enough pilots in the industry, have more flight attendants through the (Training) Academy and pay premiums to flight attendants. This is called paying dangerous obligations. Encourage people not to blow away their work. “

Currently, airlines have little room for error. American expected to fill more than 90% of its seats with paying customers on Tuesday. This is a reversion to a pre-pandemic vacation trip.

Dennis Tajar, an airline pilot and spokesman for the American Pilot Union, said:

By noon on Wednesday on the East Coast, US airlines canceled about 70 flights, an unusually low number, according to FlightAware. The Federal Aviation Administration reported that few airports were affected by the significant delays.

Casey Murray, chairman of the Southwest Pilot Union, said things seemed to be going pretty well by midnight Wednesday. He said he had not received reports of serious incidents involving unruly passengers for several days.

“I don’t think I’m going to make any video, that’s a good thing,” Murray said. “It’s just another layer of stress, complexity, and fatigue, on top of everything else that’s happening.”

At Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, hundreds of travelers were waiting on a meandering security line in a half-dozen loop. The terminal was full of people, all seats were vacant, and travelers were sitting on the floor while waiting for the plane. There was also a long line of food when some of the Phoenix airport workers were on strike over wages and allowances.

At Denver Airport, Lasida Golden arrived from Houston with her boyfriend and sister on their way to a Thanksgiving snowmobile tour.

“I’m thrilled to be traveling now, especially when things are back to normal and I’m still feeling normal to some extent. Welcome.”

Golden isn’t worried about flying, but added that he’s cautious when he’s in a “gathering of too many people.”

“As long as we wear the mask, I played my part,” she said. “The rest is to enjoy my vacation.”

For holiday travelers driving, the biggest pain is likely to be the higher price on the pump. According to AAA, the national average for gasoline on Tuesday was $ 3.40 per gallon, up more than 60% from last Thanksgiving.

These prices can be one of several factors that discourage some vacation travelers. In a survey conducted by Gasbuddy, which tracks pump prices, about half of the responding app users say high prices affect their travel plans this week. Two in five say they haven’t traveled so much for a variety of reasons.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday Ordered In collaboration with other major energy consuming countries, 50 million barrels of oil have been released from US strategic stockpiles to help reduce energy costs. U.S. action targets the global energy market, but also aims to help Americans cope with rising inflation and rising prices prior to Thanksgiving and winter travel. ..

The price of the pump was a bit of a shock to Thai Reedy, who flew from Tennessee to California and rented a friend’s truck for sightseeing. Gus was running $ 5 a gallon at Alameda’s chevron, which cost $ 100 to fill the truck.

“Last year I didn’t travel because of COVID restrictions,” Reedy said. “But as you know, we are confident enough … I felt comfortable traveling where the vaccine and the virus were.”

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