Israel-Palestinians-Flight Cancellations

A passenger walks past a Delta Airlines 747 aircraft at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, Mich. Paul Sancya/Associated Press, file

The coming Thanksgiving travel period is shaping up to be the busiest since 2019, with 55.4 million Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more from home, according to a forecast from AAA.

That makes for the third-highest Thanksgiving travel in records going back to 2000. As many as 49.1 million Americans are expected to drive, an increase of 1.7% compared to 2022. Gas prices have fallen to an average of $3.39 a gallon in early November, more than 40 cents below the same time in 2022, AAA data show.

But the uptick in holiday travel may not be enough to propel the country’s gasoline demand above seasonal norms thanks to steady improvements in fuel efficiency. The average vehicle is estimated to have covered 33.27 miles on a gallon of gasoline in 2022 – 1.42 miles more than 2021 and 6.7 miles more than a decade earlier, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

That’s a lot of fuel saved, and not counting the rising share of electric and hybrid vehicles. U.S. gasoline consumption was more than 3% below the five-year average in late October, government data show.

As many as 4.7 million people are expected to fly during the Thanksgiving holiday, up 6.6% from 2022 and the highest since 2005, AAA said. Air passengers will also pay 5% more for domestic flights, while rental car prices are down a sharp 20% from last year.

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