Despite fewer travelers, holiday will still cause headaches
Dont be fooled into thinking that traveling this week will be easier than in years past because fewer people are expected to trek to family get-togethers.
There will be some havoc, said Robert Sinclair, Jr., a spokesman for AAA New York. To the average motorist it will be as bad as it has ever been.
The AAA predicts that there will be a 1.4 percent decline nationwide in people traveling more than 50 miles this Thanksgiving week compared to last year.
Similarly, air travel is expected to drop by about 10 percent this year, said David Castelveter, a spokesman for industry group, Air Transport Association. However, with airlines cutting flights by roughly the same amount, the planes themselves will be as crowded as ever.
Thanksgiving is the busiest travel period of the year, Castelveter said.The Port Authority, which expects 1.35 million passengers at the regions three major airports, is urging travelers to leave extra time and is asking those picking up passengers at Kennedy Airport to use the cell phone lot, a free parking area away from the terminals where they can wait for calls from people arriving.
For those traveling by train, Amtrak is requiring reservations for all trains in the Northeast and is telling passengers to allow at least 45 minutes at the station to pick up tickets. Travelers will be limited to two carry-ons, not including purses and laptop bags.
Tomorrow, Amtrak expects 128,000 passengers, a 65 percent increase over the 78,000 for a normal Wednesday. Last year, Amtrak had 665,000 riders between the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and the Monday after.
A spokesman for the rail line, Clifford Cole, said the agency has not made projections for expected ridership, but said that a good number of our trains are already sold out.