Millions traveled in US for Thanksgiving, far fewer than in past years


CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Many travelers will return home Monday from the Thanksgiving holiday. Airports haven’t been this busy since the pandemic started, and officials have been sounding the alarm on the impact this will have on rising infections.

Millions of Americans traveled for Thanksgiving this year, despite surging COVID-19 cases. Even with a vaccine on the horizon, the country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is warning the next month of the pandemic could be the worst because of holiday travel.

“What we expect, unfortunately, as we go the next couple of weeks into December,” said Dr. Fauci, “is that we might see a surge superimposed on that surge that we’re already in.”

While officials are concerned about the holiday travelers, the number was significantly lower than in years past. At Albany International Airport, they typically see over 4,000 travelers on Thanksgiving eve, but this year they averaged less than a thousand, according to the airport’s C.E.O. Philip Calderone.

The pandemic has not been kind to the travel industry. According to a report by the U.S. Travel Association, travel spending will still not have returned to its pre-pandemic strength by 2024. 

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