Triple A Predicting Big Increase In Thanksgiving Travel


Triple A is predicting that more than 53 million Americans will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. The number of Americans traveling for thanksgiving is up 13 percent compared to last year and its approaching pre pandemic 2019 levels. Triple A spokesperson Robert Sinclair says most will go by vehicle.

“I don’t think gasoline prices are holding people back because there is so much pent up demand for travel and folks really just want to get out and see family and friends.”

In the New York City area, some of the worst traffic is expected on I-95, the Cross Bronx and Long Island Expressway from 2 to 5 pm on Wednesday and Sunday after five p.m. Sinclair says the best time to travel is Thanksgiving morning.





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Experts predict 12% increase in holiday travel


WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – If you plan on traveling to see family and friends for Thanksgiving, you’ll likely be sharing the roads and the airport with a lot more people. Travel experts project a 12% spike in holiday travel over the next week compared to last year in Kansas.

The surge usually starts the Friday before Thanksgiving, but airport officials say holiday travel is starting a little early this year. Traffic at the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport in Wichita was pretty steady on Thursday, and they expect it to continue throughout the holiday season.

“If you are traveling this year, you better pack your patience,” said Valerie Wise with air service and marketing for the Wichita Airport Authority.

The airport authority says this Thanksgiving holiday, passenger numbers are almost to where they were in 2019 – before the pandemic.

“There’s a lot of pent-up demand,” said Wise. “Families weren’t able to connect last year and are connecting this year.”

The Friday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and the Sunday after are projected to be busiest with roughly 3,000 people flying out of ICT. With more people checking and waiting on baggage, going through TSA and waiting in line to board, wait times are longer for just about everything.

With federal vaccine mandates taking effect for TSA workers next Monday, many travel experts feared it would increase wait times even more. But, TSA Administrator David Pakoske says vaccination rates are much higher than they were just weeks ago.

“And the good news for travelers is that more people, including TSA employees, are vaccinated. So for passengers, through a public health perspective, it’s a much safer experience,” said Pakoske.

The Wichita Airport Authority says TSA is fully-staffed and predicts roughly 30 minute wait times for passengers to get through security. Another suggestion is to arrive at the airport roughly two hours before departure time if you are flying out for Thanksgiving this year.

The airport authority also wants to remind passengers that masks are federally required in airports and on planes. They also encourage you to look at coronavirus restrictions or mandates in your destination city before you fly out.

If you plan on hitting the road, AAA says you won’t be alone. The travel agency predicts more than half a million Kansans will be on the road over the next week.

Copyright 2021 KWCH. All rights reserved.



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TSA chief expects “smooth” holiday travel despite projected increase in airport crowds


The expected surge in holiday travel and the possible firing of unvaccinated Transportation Security Administration agents will not bring chaos to the nation’s airports, the head of the TSA said Wednesday.

The most recent data show that about 40% of the agency’s workforce had either not received a single COVID-19 vaccine shot or not submitted their vaccination status as of last month despite a looming November 22 deadline. Experts fear that a possible staff shortage would create the perfect storm across U.S. airports, which are expected to see up to 80% more travelers compared to last year, reaching near pre-pandemic levels.

But TSA Administrator David Pekoske brushed off those concerns, saying most passengers should expect to spend about 30 minutes going through security.

“If they’re a pre-check passenger, 10 minutes or less,” Pekoske told “CBS Mornings.”

“I don’t think they should expect chaos… We’re very confident that this is going to be a very smooth operation over the next several days,” he said.

As for the vaccine mandate, Pekoske said the number of TSA employees who have received at least one shot has “improved greatly” and that he does not expect Monday’s deadline to have “any impact whatsoever on Thanksgiving travel.” 

“And the good news for travelers is that more and more people, including TSA employees, are now vaccinated, so from a public health perspective it’s a much safer experience,” he said. 

Pekoske said terminations would come only after a “progressive discipline process” and after every request for medical or religious exemptions is considered. 

“So we’ll go through the process of looking at each one of those individual cases and make a determination over the next several weeks,” he said. “Yes, there is the potential if you do not have an approved exemption and you are not vaccinated that you will lose your job because it’s very important that we have our workforce fully vaccinated.”

In addition to flying, millions of Americans are also expected to hit the roads this Thanksgiving holiday, with AAA projecting that 53 million people will travel next week.



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MAG sees passenger numbers increase in October | News


Manchester Airports Group (MAG) airports served 2.7 million passengers in October, which represented 51 per cent of pre-pandemic traffic compared to the same month in October 2019.

These figures mark six months of sustained increases in the number of passengers travelling through MAG airports.

In May, the group only welcomed 260,000 passengers.

By contrast, October is the first month since February last year in which both Manchester and London Stansted airports have each served more than one million passengers.

The increase seen in October was boosted by the half term period and pent-up demand for international travel after more than a year of Covid-19-related disruption.

The number of passengers served in October was 22 per cent higher than in September following a further easing of restrictions on international travel on October 4th, which saw PCR tests on replaced by cheaper lateral flow requirements, alongside the removal of all remaining countries from the ‘red list’.

This positive trend is expected to continue in the lead up to the festive season. 

Leisure travel between the UK and the US resumed on November 8th in a significant moment for the revival of the aviation industry.





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Delta sees 450% increase in bookings from outside U.S. as travel ban lifts – The Atlanta Journal Constitution



Delta sees 450% increase in bookings from outside U.S. as travel ban lifts   The Atlanta Journal Constitution



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Airport wait times likely to increase due to new COVID protocols


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  • The United States reopens to foreign visitors from dozens of countries on Monday.
  • Airlines and CBP ​​​​​​​expect the new travel rules will lead to a spike in travel.
  • International travelers should be ready to face bottlenecks once the new travel rules go into effect.

Planning to travel internationally next week? Be prepared for busier airports and border crossings.

Airlines and U.S. Customs and Border Protection expect a spike in travel starting Monday, the day the U.S. reopens to foreign visitors from dozens of countries, and U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico reopen to nonessential travel.

Add in a slew of new entry requirements for international visitors that must be verified by airlines — proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a negative coronavirus test and attestation forms — and bottlenecks are inevitable.

“It’s going to be a bit sloppy at first, I can assure you,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said last week at a U.S. Travel Association conference. “There will be lines, unfortunately.”  

‘Flights will be fairly full’

Airlines are prepping for a big increase in travelers eager to vacation in the United States or reunite with loved ones.

Many of Virgin Atlantic’s U.S.-bound flights on Nov. 8, including its first flight to the U.S. that day from London to New York, are sold out, according to spokesperson Andrew Scott. 

United Airlines expects more than 30,000 people to fly into the U.S. that day.  That equates to a peak summer day for the airline. 

Most of the flights will be “fairly full,” according to spokesperson Nicole Carriere.

Delta Air Lines said many of its Monday flights to the U.S. are sold out and that planes are expected to be relatively full in the following weeks. The airline has seen a 450% increase in bookings by travelers who live outside the U.S. in the weeks since the reopening was announced, spokesperson Morgan Durrant said. The most popular destinations: New York, Atlanta, Boston and Orlando. 

British Airways is operating 26 flights to 15 destinations including New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles on Monday, flights that will now include a mix of passengers from both sides of the Atlantic instead of primarily U.S. citizens. Countries in Europe and the U.K. reopened their borders to U.S. citizens in stages and with varying entry restrictions over the summer.

► Covaxin gets green light for US travel: Travelers vaccinated with Covaxin can enter US after WHO grants emergency use listing

‘We know international travel feels a bit different now’ 

Airlines expect some international travelers to be unfamiliar with all the new rules or rusty from 20 months without an overseas flight, which could slow things down at the airport. Most are advising passengers to arrive at least three hours early.

Long lines were common in popular vacation destinations like Cancun, Mexico, earlier this year when the U.S. began requiring proof of a negative COVID test or recovery from the virus for all passengers flying into the country, including U.S. citizens. And there has been continuing confusion over Hawaii’s strict COVID restrictions and airport lines as documents are checked.

► New US travel rules: Unvaccinated Americans to face tighter COVID testing requirements

In emails and on their websites, U.S. and foreign airlines are reminding passengers with upcoming international flights from previously banned countries about the entry restrictions, and pointing them to mobile apps where they can upload vaccination proof, test results and other required information so things go smoothly at check-in.

American Airlines sends alerts to travelers about the new U.S. entry rules when they book and follows up a week, 72 hours and 24 hours before departure.

Travelers anticipating a ‘bit of a wait’

Sam Nagy is flying from Manchester, England, to Orlando on Monday with his wife and 2-year-old for a vacation they had to reschedule four times during the pandemic.

Earlier this week, he received an email from Virgin Atlantic outlining the steps he needs to take ahead of the flight “to ensure your upcoming departure and arrival into the US goes smoothly.”

“We know international travel feels a bit different right now, with all the measures in place to ensure you fly safe and well during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the email said. “By carefully checking the entry requirements for your travel to the US and following the requirements, you’ll be all set for your journey and can start looking forward to your trip, be it for leisure, business or reuniting with loved ones.”

Nagy said via email that he expects some hassles on his first trip to the United States since 2018.

► New US travel rules: CDC says unvaccinated foreign tourists under 18 will not need to quarantine

He expects a long check-in line at the Manchester airport as some travelers struggle with their documents and a “bit of a wait” to clear U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Orlando International Airport as that can be “hit and miss at the best of times.”

He plans to take any issues in stride on the trip to the family’s “favourite place in the world.”

Their first stop in Orlando after picking up the rental car: the Islands of Adventure theme park at Universal Orlando Resort.

“It’s become our go-to thing,” he said.

Flying into the US as travel ban is lifted? ‘Be prepared’

For U.S. citizens and international travelers from countries not subject to the travel ban, clearing the CPB process upon arrival at U.S. airports has been a relative breeze.

With a much bigger pool of travelers now eligible to visit, those lines are going to get longer especially during peak travel periods.

“Now, are you going to see an increase in wait times … because we have more people coming in,” said Aaron Bowker, director of Office of Field Operations Communications for the CPB.  

But Bowker said lines will simply begin to return to normal, not become “astronomical.”

He said CBP staffing at airports remained the same during the pandemic but workers were given different duties. With travel volume expected to increase, they will head back to the front lines as needed.

“This is nothing new for us,” Bowker said.  

► From vaccines to testing: What travelers need to know before the new US travel system on Nov. 8

Bowker said CBP can match staffing with expected crowds at airports because they know in advance how many travelers are arriving and when thanks to the airline passenger manifests it receives. 

That’s not the case at land borders since travelers arriving by car don’t make reservations.

Another big difference: CPB officers at airports will not have to check for vaccine proof or COVID test results because that is being handled by airlines in the departure city.

Bowker’s advice for people catching international flights to the U.S. in the near future is to be prepared and don’t expect brief pandemic wait times such as an average of 20 minutes at New York’s JFK airport.

Land border officials ask travelers to ‘be patient’

It’s a different story for CBP officers at land crossings because they will be tasked with verifying documents.

The U.S. land borders and ferry ports are set to allow travelers to pass through for nonessential reasons for the first time since March 21, 2020, so long as they are fully vaccinated. 

“For travelers making the trip to the United States, we ask that you are patient with our officers as we embark upon further reopening cross border travel,” CBP executive director of admissibility and passenger programs Matthew Davies said in a Tuesday press conference. “CBP is anticipating an increase in travel volumes and wait times across the border.”

► Who is exempt?: These select groups of unvaccinated foreign travelers can enter the US

CBP officials said even though their staff faces an impending deadline for federal vaccine mandates, the department has enough staffing to handle the uptick.

“We know and expect that there will be wait times as traffic increases but we do expect to have a full complement of staffing to handle the surge as travel resumes,” Davies said. 

The CBP suggests travelers who are crossing the border come prepared with the correct documentation in hand. Travelers can also take advantage of CBP programs such as its facial biometrics or its CBP One mobile application.

► US borders with Canada, Mexico reopen: Travelers in Mexico and Canada plan their next US visit after new land border policy announced

Which countries were included in the US travel ban? 

The U.S. first imposed travel restrictions were first imposed in early 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19, and were reinstated by President Joe Biden in January after then-President Donald Trump rescinded the restrictions days before the end of his term. The country prohibits entry for most travelers from:

  • China
  • Iran 
  • European Schengen area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City)
  • United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Brazil
  • South Africa
  • India





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Traffic Expected to Increase as Non-Essential Land Border Travel Resumes Monday – NBC 7 San Diego


Traffic at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, border crossings and ferry terminals will likely increase beginning next week.

Officials with the Port of Entry announced their expectations of increased traffic and wait times for Nov. 8 when the U.S.-Mexico border is expected to reopen to fully vaccinated non-essential travelers.

More travelers mean more vehicles and more documents for Customs and Border Protection officers to check.

Moises Castillo, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer in charge of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, said staffing will be ramped up.

“We are reassigning officers from different areas and putting them in our primary and secondary areas to speed up the process. We are expecting heavy travel on that day. Actually, for the next few weeks,” Castillo said.

Castillo told NBC 7 that staffing is near levels prior to the pandemic.

For those who rely on the border, the announcement is welcomed news. Others may dread the possibility that those long waits will suddenly get much longer.

Currently, wait times hover around an hour to an hour and a half, according to Castillo.

Castillo is asking the public to be patient with CBP officers and to prepare using the CBP One mobile app to fill out necessary paperwork prior to arriving at the border crossing.

As the current process, officers will randomly choose travelers to show proof of vaccination. All are required to have it when they cross the border.

A CBP spokesperson told NBC 7 that a picture on a mobile device, of your vaccine proof, is accepted. Also, officers are trained to recognize fraudulent vaccine documents.

As for the federal vaccine mandate among CBP officers, it’s unclear if it will have any effect on staffing at the border.

In January 2022, essential travelers will also be required to be vaccinated.



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U.S. Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Increase 175% Year Over Year in September


ARLINGTON, Va.–()–Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released data showing ARC-accredited travel agency air ticket sales increased 175% year over year in September 2021. The consolidated dollar value of tickets sold by agencies in September totaled $3.2 billion, up from $1.2 billion in September 2020 and edging slightly higher compared to the August 2021 total.*

Month over month, September 2021 international trips and total trips increased by 3% and 1%, respectively. U.S. domestic trips increased less than 1%.

“Historically, we expect sales and total trips to decline month over month in September,” said Steve Solomon, vice president of global sales, marketing operations and customer experience at ARC. “This year, month-over-month sales started to decline between July and August due to travel restrictions triggered by the delta variant. We’re encouraged to see that decline leveling off, and ticket sales and trip numbers improving with the news of international travel to the U.S. becoming easier for vaccinated travelers beginning in November.”

Total passenger trips settled by ARC in September 2021 increased 103% year over year from 7.6 million to 15.4 million. U.S. domestic passenger trips increased 98% to 11 million YOY. International passenger trips increased 115% to 4.4 million over the same period. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price increased to $390 in September 2021, up from $343 in September 2020.

Year over year, September 2021 EMD sales increased 186% to $6,577,935. EMD transactions increased 142% to 133,179.**

More detailed information is available on ARC’s sales statistics page. Additional breakdown of corporate, leisure and online ticket sales can be found on the ARC COVID-19 data page.

About ARC:

As a leader in air travel intelligence and omnichannel retailing, ARC provides platforms, tools and insights that help the global travel community connect, grow and thrive. ARC enables the diverse retailing strategies of its customers by providing innovative technology, flexible settlement solutions and access to the world’s most comprehensive air transaction dataset. In 2019, ARC managed more than $97.4 billion in transactions between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 302 million passenger trips. For more information, please visit arccorp.com.

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending September 30, 2021, from 10,921 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, satellite ticket printing offices and online travel agencies. Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines.
  • The average ticket price (USD) is for a round-trip ticket settled through ARC for an itinerary that included only U.S. domestic travel.
  • Passenger trips include the total number of passengers taking a trip from one airport to another using direct or connecting flights. Newly issued trips are added, and refunded trips are deducted to provide a net view of traveling passengers.
  • U.S. domestic passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where the itinerary is wholly within the U.S. International passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where some or all the travel occurs to airports outside the U.S. or originates outside the U.S.
  • Total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.

**Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD)

  • Includes fees for products and services such as upgraded seats, checked bags, an unaccompanied minor, pet-in-cabin, etc.

© Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.



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CAA seeks to increase cap on Heathrow passenger charges


The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is seeking to place a new
cap on proposed increases to passenger charges at Heathrow airport, saying the
move could “support consumer demand” as the global aviation industry recovers
from the pandemic.

According to the CAA, Heathrow requested to increase the cap
on its airport charges to between £32 and £43 – a huge increase from the £22
fee set in 2020. However, the regulator is launching a consultation to seek a lower increase of between £24.50 and £34.40, as well as an interim price cap to “protect consumers from any undue increase in airport charges”. A cap of £30 had already been set for 2022, according to the BBC. 

The CAA wants to implement a five-year control
period starting in summer 2022 that will allow the airport to “smooth charges
for consumers and provide investors with medium-term certainty”. 

It is also seeking the introduction of a new traffic risk
sharing mechanism to prevent either passengers or Heathrow from bearing all the
risk of uncertainty caused by the industry’s continuing recovery.

In addition, the regulator has reconfirmed its decision earlier this year to set a £300 million rise on Heathrow’s regulated asset base, which determines how much money it can recover as compensation from consumers through charges. Last year, the airport requested an adjustment of £2.3 billion. 

CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty commented: “While
international air travel is still recovering, setting a price control for
Heathrow airport against the backdrop of so much uncertainty means we have had
to adapt our approach. Our principal objective is to further the interests of
consumers while recognising the challenges the industry has faced throughout
the Covid-19 pandemic. These initial proposals seek to protect consumers
against unfair charges and will allow Heathrow to continue to appropriately
invest in keeping the airport resilient, efficient and one that provides a good
experience for passengers.”

Moriarty said the CAA plans to set out its final proposals
next year.

The proposed increase comes after Heathrow introduced an “Airport
Cost Recovery Charge” of £8.90 per passenger on all outbound flights, as well
as a £5 fee for vehicles using the forecourts of its terminals.

Heathrow said in April this year that it had lost £2.4
billion
during the course of the pandemic.

A spokesperson for Heathrow commented: “Our aim is to reach
a settlement that enables us to give passengers a great service while operating
a safe, resilient and competitive hub airport for Britain.

“While it is right the CAA protect[s] consumers against
excessive profits and waste, the settlement is not designed to shield airlines
from legitimate cost increases or the impacts of fewer people travelling. We
look forward to discussing the CAA’s proposals in detail with the regulator and
our airline partners as we work towards a new settlement.”

The proposal has been slammed by Virgin Atlantic, one of
Heathrow’s largest customers, with CEO Shai Weiss saying the CAA has failed to
protect passengers. The airline said the regulator’s proposal is based on a “pessimistic”
forecast of 45 million Heathrow passengers in 2022, a decrease of 44 per cent
on 2019, compared to the International Air Transport Association’s estimate of
a 9 per cent reduction in global demand.

“The world’s most expensive airport risks becoming over 50
per cent more expensive as Heathrow and its owners seek to recoup their
pandemic losses and secure hundreds of millions in dividends to shareholders,” Weiss said in a statement. “It is concerning that the regulator has failed in its opportunity to step in,
and together with industry partners we will oppose these proposals in the
strongest terms to protect passengers.

“Abusing its unique position as the UK’s only hub airport,
Heathrow’s proposed increase of charges will hurt the UK’s economic recovery
and unfairly hit the pockets of families and businesses around the nation. No
other airport in the world is proposing increases on this scale and by becoming
unaffordable, competing EU hubs and airlines will benefit.”

Virgin Atlantic also pointed out that Heathrow Airport
Limited paid out a dividend of £106 million to shareholders in 2020 and said it
is “only right” that the airport turns to its equity owners first in its
recovery efforts rather than airlines and consumers.

Tim Alderslade, CEO of trade body Airlines UK, said: “The CAA is our last line of defence against a monopoly-abusing hub airport. Monopolies will always try it on and that’s why we need a strong regulator to clamp down on what is blatant gouging. How on earth can it be in the interests of consumers to ramp up charges by as much as 50 per cent?

“Passengers need to be front and centre here – it’s Heathrow’s shareholders and not our customers who should be asked to foot the bill. We will oppose this in the strongest terms.”



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Travel increase creates fare hike, passport delays still an issue


DENVER (KDVR) — Pandemic travel is getting ready to shift to a faster pace according to industry experts.

The Colorado American Automobile Association reports travel is up 75% from 2019 after losses during the pandemic. Many major airlines will meet increased demand by adding thousands of flights available across the nation between now and the holiday season.

Skyler McKinley of AAA of Colorado told the Problem Solvers, “as the pandemic wears on folks’ concerns about the pandemic wear off, that’s why we tend to see airlines of every stripe adding flights.”

FOX31 spoke with travelers at Denver International Airport who said it’s good to see things bustling again.

“I love walking in there and seeing the airport is full and everybody working again,” one passenger arriving from New Orleans said.

While the pandemic recovery provides a boost for millions of travel industry employees, passengers should be prepared for fare increases and cancellations.

“Many of the airlines said early on ‘we’re going to be totally flexible with our cancellation policies’ … they probably have an economic interest to get you on those flights,” McKinley said. 

Travel experts said it is important to be aware of COVID-19 travel guidelines before leaving for the airport and at your destination. McKinley said whether you travel by plane, bus or take a road trip, public health guidelines remain in place. Pack masks, carry vaccination records and sanitizing products.

“Preventing the spread is the name of the game through at least January of 2022,” McKinley said.

Passport delays are still a problem, so applying or renewing for 2022 trips should be done as soon as possible.

AAA of Colorado reports travel to Colorado is up 19% with more people coming from across the world to enjoy what the state has to offer.

One stranded airline passenger who had a Las Vegas flight canceled told FOX31, “I didn’t get to make it to Vegas so now I’m just trying to make it a romantic weekend with my girlfriend in Colorado.”



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