Grounded

Americans Stay Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving weekend airport lines may ease up this year as an increasing number of Americans are choosing to stay home for the holiday, unable to afford the high cost of travel in the midst of the recession. Airport crowds have already been reportedly less frenzied than usual: “Last year we had people fighting at the checkpoint. They were screaming… they were getting mad over waiting in line,” said one American Airlines worker. Even with 38 million people expected to travel this weekend, the amount of air travel is set to drop by about 6.7 percent this year, and is down by a staggering 20 million people since 2005, when the economy was more stable. “It’s too expensive,” said one woman unable to visit her family in Atlanta. “It’s depressing because you want to be with your family for the holidays.” More people are making a road trip out of it, calculating the cost of driving to be much lower, if less time-efficient. Train travel is also getting more popular, with Thursday expected to be Amtrak’s busiest day of the year.