More Americans took to the skies than ever this past Thanksgiving, thanks to low fares and plenty of travel flexibility. The influx of passengers in the two weeks leading up to the holiday—around 41.4 million—equaled double the number from 2015.
Many people called it “Surge Friday,” the highest volume day of the year for airline travel; Thanksgiving travelers spent five days, through Monday, traveling by air, car, or rail. But the holidays weren’t just a boon for airlines.
Other aspects of the holiday season saw a growth in spending, from licensed pharmacies to jewelry vendors. Tickets for such popular seats as first class were snapped up while passengers waited in security lines (some even paid a fee for priority boarding) and early birds had more chances to book seats in sought-after travel destinations.
With the first of April rapidly approaching, holiday travel will rise even higher: AAA expects 43.5 million to travel more than 50 miles from home from April 1 to 11.