COVID surge not slowing holiday travel plans for Christmas, New Year

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Despite COVID cases surging in Illinois and around the country, AAA predicts more than 109 million people will travel to see loved ones for the Christmas holiday.

Roads, buses and trains are expected to be filled to nearly 2019 levels, p 34% from last year. Six million will travel by air, and 3 million in other ways.

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AAA said history shows getting a mid-morning start will help you avoid the worst travel times, and getting to the airport three hours early for an international fight and two for a domestic flight are imperative.

Sunset travel has seen a bounce back in bookings this year as pent up demand is unleashed. Popular destinations are closer to him, in Mexico and the Caribbean. Europe is more an afterthought in the age of COVID.

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Midway Airport may be especially busy with its focus on domestic travel. TSA screeners expect their busiest days system-wide to be Thursday and Sunday January 2. A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines said, "Overall, we have been encouraged by holiday travel demands and we are expecting pretty typical load factors."
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