WACO, Texas — On one of the busiest travel days of the year, travelers flooded roads and airports across the country on Wednesday.
AAA estimates that nearly 57 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving this year. It expects 4.51 million passengers will travel by air, up from 4.18 million in 2021.
Despite the increased traffic in airports, passengers flying into Waco on Wednesday said the traveling process has been much easier than last year.
"This time, no cancelations, my flights are right, everything is perfect," said Michael Persky, who landed in Waco from Washington, D.C.
Air travel has still not fully rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, but it is nearing them.
The Killeen-Fort Hood Regional airport said it's anticipating heavy travel Wednesday through Sunday, with five to six flights scheduled every day this week except Thursday.
Down on the ground, more than 3.5 million Texans are set to hit the road for Thanksgiving. While drivers may hit some traffic on the highway, they may be pleasantly surprised at the pump.
Fuel prices per gallon are down nearly two dollars from this summer's peak.
AAA reports an average of $2.89 per gallon in the Waco area, down from $4.67 in June.
"It feels great," said James Cowan, as he filled his tank at a Waco gas station for just $2.64 per gallon. "It's a lot better than when I filled up a few weeks ago, it was like three bucks."
Travelers were happy to see the process go by smoothly on Wednesday, hoping to see the same results when they return later this weekend.